Movement Is Life Journey

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B. Change my Eating Habits and Move More to Break the Vicious Cycle

You are right to want to change your eating habits and begin moving more to prevent or live better with type 2 diabetes. It is a disease in which your blood sugar (glucose) levels in your body are too high. It can cause serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke.

Let's learn more about Type 2 Diabetes.

Source: American Diabetes Association

Eating well-balanced meals is essential. While it's an essential part of taking better care of yourself in general and breaking the Vicious Cycle, it's especially important for people with diabetes or at risk for the disease.

Physical activity and anything that gets you moving helps in the prevention and management of diabetes. It doesn't mean you need to run marathons or bench-press 300 lbs. The goal is to become more active and move more throughout your day.

Women can take action now to prevent diabetes later. If you experienced gestational diabetes during pregnancy, are overweight, and/or lead a sedentary lifestyle, you are at risk. But you can take the steps now to prevent diabetes and break the Vicious Cycle.

  • Get regular screenings
  • Start and stick to a healthy meal plan
  • Get moving through regular physical activity

Learn how to lose weight and keep it off in a healthy way. Always knowing what to eat can be confusing. Following is a list of 10 diabetes superfoods recommended by the American Diabetes Association for the prevention and management of diabetes:

  1. Beans
  2. Green leafy vegetables
  3. Citrus fruits
  4. Sweet potatoes
  5. Berries
  6. Tomatoes
  7. Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids (salmon for instance)
  8. Whole grains
  9. Nuts
  10. Fat-free milk and yogurt

Move more each day. Look for ways to be more active. Try to be active for at least 30 minutes, five days a week. Walking is a great way to get started, and you can do it most anywhere.

Rethink your drink. Find a water bottle you really like and carry it with you everywhere you go. Always drink water instead of soda. Give your water a little flavor by adding lemon or a squirt of juice. Try changing from whole milk to 2%, 1%, or skim.

woman and daughter walking

Perhaps the act of cooking and eating is an important ritual for you and your family, and social events are oftentimes centered around food. Armed with the knowledge that obesity and lack of physical activity are linked to diabetes, you can work to change the eating habits of your family and you and push for more physical activity for everyone.

Being told to join a gym or fitness center may not be economically feasible for you or something that you are even interested in doing. There are other ways to be active such as …

  • Line Dancing
  • Zumba Dancing
  • Walking
  • Aerobics
  • Gardening

… and other specific cultural activities that may be more appealing to you. It's important to let your healthcare provider know and support YOUR strategy to decrease your risk of developing diabetes or its complications.

mother daughter talking to doctor

If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes, you may describe your experiences living with diabetes as "suffering"—not just a physical suffering, but also an emotional suffering. Know that there are things you can do to help take care of yourself and feel better.

First, you should insist on information and tools that are written in a way to address your culture. Culturally relevant resources, your family's support, and self-management educational materials that are in your language of choice will help you to better manage your diabetes.

Find local classes or support groups with other women so you don't feel so alone. Bring someone with you to your healthcare medical visits to make sure you understand your disease and plan of care.

Make your health a priority. You will feel better and your family will appreciate it.

You're on your way to solving the puzzle and breaking the Vicious Cycle. Now you know the importance of movement in avoiding or living healthier with Type 2 Diabetes. If you would like to go back and follow choice A, please click here. If you are ready to move forward, let's take a look at the next piece of the puzzle by clicking on Heart Disease

type 2 diabetes
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