Learn how to prevent diabetes with a few simple lifestyle choices
Although some causes of diabetes can be mitigated by a healthy diet and exercise, there are risk factors you can't change -- like family history, age, or ethnic background -- but others you can change. Make sure you're doing all that you can to protect yourself from diabetes and its complications, and keep in mind that even modest changes can have a big impact on lowering your risk. Start with these three steps:
Move Your Body
Research shows that one of the most effective ways to lower your risk of diabetes is to be physically active. You don't have to join a gym or run a marathon (unless you want to!), just get your body moving -- and your heart pumping -- for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
Don't know where to start? Check out these free workout videos -- there's something for everyone.
And if you're still at a loss, try these excuse-busting strategies to overcome your biggest barriers to a more active life.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
When it comes to how to prevent diabetes, one of the most important steps you can take is to maintain a healthy weight. By keeping your body mass index (BMI) at less than 25 you can reduce risk of diabetes as well as other conditions, such as heart disease. Diabetes-prevention studies show that losing just 5%10% of your body weight can help prevent or delay diabetes. If your BMI is high, aim to nudge it closer to the 25 mark -- it'll make a big difference in your health.
Regular screening can identify the warning signs of diabetes at their earliest stages, which gives you the best chance of delaying or even preventing the onset of diabetes.
Current guidelines recommend that regular screenings begin at age 45 -- unless you have additional risk factors that warrant screening at an earlier age. Talk to your doctor about the causes of diabetes, how you can prevent its onset and what type of diabetes screening schedule is appropriate for you.