Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. Blood glucose is your main source of energy and comes from the food you eat. Keeping your diabetes under control will help you prevent heart, nerve, and foot problems. Although there are certain factors you can’t change such as your genes, age or past behaviors. Here are some actions you can take to reduce the risk of diabetes.
1. Drink Water as Your Primary Beverage
Water is by far the most natural beverage you can drink. What’s more, sticking with water most of the time helps you avoid beverages that are high in sugar, preservatives and other questionable ingredients. Drinking water instead of other beverages may help control blood sugar and insulin levels, thereby reducing the risk of diabetes.
2. Lose Extra Weight
Moving toward a healthy weight helps control blood sugars. Your doctor, a dietitian, and a fitness trainer can get you started on a plan that will work for you. Although losing even a small amount of weight can help reduce the risk, the more you lose, the more benefits you’ll experience.
3. Stop Smoking
Smoking has been shown to cause or contribute to many serious health conditions, including heart disease, emphysema and cancers of the lung, breast, prostate and digestive tract. Smoking is strongly linked to the risk of diabetes, especially in heavy smokers. Quitting has been shown to reduce this risk over time. You will feel much healthier than before once you stop smoking.
4. Get Some Sleep
When you’re sleep-deprived, you tend to eat more, and you can put on weight, which leads to health problems. People with diabetes who get enough sleep often have healthier eating habits and improved blood sugar levels. When you are getting enough sleep, you may find that you have an easier time controlling your blood sugar.
5. Manage Stress
Stress and diabetes don’t mix. Excess stress can elevate blood sugar levels. Stress can hamper your diabetes care. For instance, if you have so much on your mind that you skip meals or forget to take your medicines, that will affect your blood sugar level. But you can find relief by sitting quietly for 15 minutes, meditating, or practicing yoga.
6. Work Out Regularly
Being active each day is good for everyone. Exercise increases the insulin sensitivity of your cells. Try to exercise at least three times a week for about 30 to 45 minutes each time. If you haven’t been active in a while, ease in. Start with 5 to 10 minutes, then work up from there. So when you exercise, less insulin is required to keep your blood sugar levels under control. If you stay fit and active throughout your life, you’ll be able to better control your diabetes and keep your blood glucose level in the correct range. Controlling your blood glucose level is essential to preventing long-term complications, such as nerve pain and kidney disease.
6. Visit your Doctor
Get a complete checkup at least once a year, though you may talk to your doctor more often.
Eating the right foods and adopting other lifestyle behaviors that promote healthy blood sugar and insulin levels will give you the best chance at avoiding diabetes.