One Healthy Thing: Move for 15 minutes a day to avoid diabetes

Each day during January, Via Christi is offering One Healthy Thing you can do to create a better 2014. Today’s tip comes from Debbie Gruenbacher, DO, with Via Christi Clinic.

Make a concerted effort to “move” – even for 15 minutes – each day.

While most people are aware that even moderate physical activity is beneficial to managing weight and improving overall health, it is a particularly important tool in preventing or postponing the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes 2 – previously called adult-onset diabetes – has increased dramatically over the last 20 years, including reaching into the teen population where it was seldom seen before. The reason is attributed largely to the obesity epidemic.

There is a strong relationship between excess fat and diabetes 2. Excess fat cells produce a specific hormone and a protein that make cells less effective in taking in glucose, causing glucose to build up in the bloodstream. This condition is called insulin resistance and is the first step on the road to pre-diabetes and ultimately diabetes.

So, in addition to eating a healthy diet (low in sugar and processed foods), your best line of defense against diabetes 2 is to burn off a few calories. Today, try and do one thing to get moving 10 to 15 minutes – talk a walk, park farther away from your destination, pull out the Wii and play an active game in lieu of the standard video game, or take in a game or bowling or other atypical activity for you. It only takes a few weeks to develop a habit so if you commit to this one thing you may develop a lifetime routine of better health practices.

I have taken on this challenge and I am looking forward to it. Some days I will just be doing a brisk walk around a circle of rooms but others I will have the luxury of striking out across the fields for a longer time. I hope you and I can continue this habit, ward off the potential of developing type diabetes and enjoy better overall health.

About Terry Rombeck

I am the digital manager for Via Christi Health, father of a toddler boy, husband of an awesome occupational therapist, and lover of baseball.
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