October 10, 2018

Rock The Walk Week 3

General Health

Hello everyone, and welcome to week 3 of the Rock the Walk Challenge. We’re just about ready to hit the ‘hump’ of the challenge, which means time is FLYING by. You have plenty of time to keep working on your fitness and increasing the number of weekly minutes of exercise you achieve. Remember, each step is a step forward, and one that you can be proud of doing!

I’m going to let you in on a little secret about the education topics for the next few weeks—they are all health-related topics, and things you have maybe heard your health care provide talk about. I won’t give away ALL of the juicy details, but, you’re going to notice A LOT of similarities with the prevention components for each topic…..and with each blog moving forward!

This week’s topic was centered around Diabetes, and what it is, how it is diagnosed, and how to prevent it. Admittedly, I know the basics about diabetes, but I am by no means an expert. (Here’s my shameless plug for Fort HealthCare’s Diabetic Education Team, which is beyond amazing, and SO knowledgeable!)  There is a great website (www.diabetes.org) that has tons of information, resources and recipes (yum) about the disease, and different ways to combat

Diabetes is when your body has too high of blood glucose (sugar), and the insulin that your body produces (or does not produce) can’t combat the extra sugar, which can cause many different side effects if left untreated. There are two types of diabetes: Type 1 is where your body does not produce insulin, and it is usually diagnosed in children and young adults, and Type 2 is your body produces insulin, but it isn’t enough or it isn’t used properly. Type 1 diabetes is not preventable, however, Type 2 diabetes may be able to be managed or even prevented with lifestyle changes. You’re going to see a similar list of these lifestyle changes over the next few weeks of the blog, and although it’s repetitive, it’s information that is super valuable, and can help to prevent various health conditions.

Here are some of the lifestyle changes below that can help to prevent Type 2 Diabetes:

  • Being Physically Active
  • I know I sound like a broken record with every blog I write that has some blip of physical activity being mentioned, but man oh man, physical activity REALLY does a number of good and positive things to your body. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends 150 minutes/week of moderately intense physical exercise—just what we’re asking for with this challenge! Physical activity, as it relates to diabetes helps in the following ways:
  • Regular exercise can help keep your weight at a healthy number, or it can help you to work towards bringing that weight to a healthier number.
  • Your body uses glucose as a fuel source when you exercise. The more you exercise, the more “extra glucose” is taken up by your body and muscles, which can help bring your overall glucose numbers down
  • Eating a well-balanced diet
  • Om nom nom nom. Eating a well-balanced diet that consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy is beneficial to your gut, but also in terms of prevention of diabetes. Read more here:
  • Eating a well-balanced diet can help to, as I mentioned above, keep you at a healthy weight or working in the direction of a healthy weight. Your body needs lots of different vitamins and minerals, and eating all food groups and different colors of fruits and vegetables can help ensure you get all of the proper nutrition.
  • Fruits/Vegetables
  • Fruits and vegetables, although many contain carbohydrates which is a big discussion point for diabetes, are loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber. It’s a great bang-for-your-buck with the calories you are ingesting because of the extra nutrition you are getting. It’s best to eat the whole fruit or vegetable, and be aware of the canned and frozen types if they contain extra salt or sugar.
  • Whole grains
  • Whole grains are nutritious, and contain the entire grain product (bran, germ and endosperm) and contain many vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Fiber can keep you feel fuller, longer which is beneficial for individuals who are trying to lose weight or maintain their weight. White flour-based products may (usually L) contain added sugar, which adds a few other health concerns.
  • Lean proteins
  • Lean proteins, whether the meat kind or the plant-based kind, are usually lower in fat, and many of the plant-based proteins contain fiber. Just be conscientious of the amount of carbohydrates they contain!
  • Working towards a healthier weight
  • Being overweight carries extra risk for various diseases, including diabetes. Losing weight may help to prevent and manage your risk of diabetes (and other conditions). Just by losing even 10-15lbs can make a big difference! Here are a few tips for getting started with weight loss:
  • Take small steps
  • Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your weight loss won’t happen overnight (darn it, right?!). Start slow by adding in extra exercise, tracking your food, adding more fruits and vegetables and being conscientious of snacking. Little steps in the right direction, over time, can lead to big results. Take the first step!
  • Make a goal
  • Having something to work towards is a great way to stay motivated, and have direction. Decided how much weight you want to lose, and <<realistically>> when you want to lose it by.
  • Set up a support system
  • Having friends, family, spouses, and coworkers in your corner is a great way to be moving in the right direction, and to have someone there to help you if you get in a rut. Better yet, ask a friend, spouse or coworker to join you in your endeavors and tag-team, and have the other for accountability. Win, win!


Type 2 diabetes, although scary, can be preventable, and something you and your health care provider can talk about if you have concerns about your risk. By taking steps in the right direction for your health, you can not only improve your overall health, but decrease your risk for diabetes and other health concerns you may have.

Until next time!