World Diabetes Day is the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign aiming to reflect the realities of the chronic condition. While WDD falls every year on November 14th, it is really an all-year-long campaign created in response to growing concerns about the global health issue that is diabetes, and to encourage people to get screened early. An active lifestyle and healthy habits can often help to prevent the condition. Here are 7 healthy habits to help prevent diabetes you can start today:
1. Lose body fat
Being overweight increases your risk factor for diabetes. Reducing body fat is an obvious, yet inevitable advice to reduce the likelihood of getting the chronic condition. Every kilogram of weight lost reduces diabetes risk by 16% on average. Blood sugar is more easily regulated with less body fat as well. To lose body fat, consult your doctor or a dietician to elaborate a plan and stick to it.
2. Eat a plant-based diet
Follow a diet based on fruits and vegetables reduces your risk of getting diabetes. Avoid at all costs foods containing trans fats, sugar and saturated sugar. Make sure to not eat too many carbs and if possible, prefer high fibre carbs such as beans and whole grains, to help control your blood sugar levels. A good way to implement more fruits and vegetables is to have a small green salad before each meal: in addition of filling you up, it will help control your blood sugar level and help you be less hungry afterwards.
3. Drink more water
Not only drinking more water will make your skin look better, your muscles more energized and your kidneys eliminate toxins, it will also regulate your appetite. Drinking more water also helps reducing your intake of sweet beverages and sodas, both linked to a higher risk of obesity and diabetes. Keep track of how much water you drank using the widget on the Gear Fit2.
4. Get exercising
Often linked to weight gain and health issues, physical inactivity is a factor when measuring the risk of getting diabetes. Even if it’s only a fast walk every day, make sure to get your heart rate up for 30 minutes a few times a week. Exercise also helps relieving stress and help control blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Track your heart rate and steps and aim for at 10,000 a day on the Gear Fit2 fitness tracker – you can even challenge your friends on a Step Challenge for added motivation through the S Health app on your smartphone.
5. No stress
Stress is the reason of several health issues, as it provokes the release of many hormones increasing blood sugar. In order to relieve stress in your daily life, think about meditation, yoga to relax and exercise to release the pressure. Only 15 minutes a day are enough to relax and decrease your stress levels. Exercise not only improves physical functioning but it also helps your brain work better and process information better.
6. Sleep better
Poor sleep quality are a risk factor for diabetes. In addition to higher cardiovascular risks and a weaker immune system, sleep deprivation encourages your body to release higher levels of insulin after you eat, which in turn promotes fat storage and increasing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Record your sleep patterns with the Gear Fit2 to check and improve the numbers of hours you slept
7. Get regular checks
Keep medical checks regularly and get checked at least once a year. As diabetes 2 symptoms are harder to spot than those of type 1 diabetes, it’s important to be seen regularly by a doctor. If you feel very thirsty and hungry than usual even though you are drinking water and eating, or if you feel extreme fatigue or experience a blurry vision, make sure to get checked immediately by your doctor.