Stepping Out To Stop Diabetes
Do you know someone with diabetes? Odds are, you do: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes. And another 86 million adults aged 20 years and older have prediabetes — in other words, more than one in three U.S. adults have blood sugar levels higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes. The good news? A little bit of intervention can go a long way.
It’s no secret that switching to a low-sugar and low-carb diet is a step in the right direction. Exercise is also important, but a study that was published last year in Diabetes Care says to think about when you do it: Walking for just fifteen minutes after every meal — especially dinner — can do wonders to control blood sugar. The research showed that even a short amount of moderate walking can help lower post-meal blood sugar for at least three hours. (This is especially important for those at risk of type 2 diabetes.) Thanks to timing, these short walks can be as beneficial for blood sugar as a 45-minute walk. Tip: If you can’t go outside, march in place for fifteen minutes or check out a walk-fitness workout you can do at home.
The CDC notes that without weight loss and moderate physical activity, fifteen to thirty percent of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years. On Saturday, November 1, you can raise diabetes awareness and take steps to lower your blood sugar at the largest fundraising walk of its kind in the country: The American Diabetes Association’s signature Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes 5K, which starts at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and continues along Martin Luther King Boulevard. (Registration begins at 8 a.m. and race starts at 9:30 a.m.)
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