Fitness Experts Offer Tips For Preventing and Reducing the Side Effects from Type 2 Diabetes
During American Diabetes Month, Get In Shape For Women – a franchised women’s fitness studio chain that offers small group personal training in a private, upscale environment – emphasizes the importance of physical activity and a healthy, balanced diet for controlling and preventing diabetes. Currently, 25.8 million Americans – 8.3 percent of the population – suffer from diabetes, and an additional 79 million are prediabetic, meaning they have a strong likelihood of developing the condition.
Diabetes is one of the most common health conditions in the United States. It can lead to complications ranging from hypertension and blindness to stroke, heart disease, and kidney failure. While type 2 diabetes – the disease’s most common form – is chronic and incurable, it is 90 percent preventable by leading a healthy lifestyle.
“The Get In Shape For Women results-oriented system focuses on a four part transformation model that includes weight training, cardio, nutrition support and accountability,” said Kenny Leung, health and fitness expert and owner of Get In Shape For Women in Dedham. “All of these elements are critical in combating the onset of type 2 diabetes and preventing serious health complications.”
Kenny Leung has some helpful tips for reducing your own diabetes risk. If you’re already diabetic, these guidelines can help stave off serious health risks and even reverse your current symptoms in the long term.
- Develop healthy eating habits. Poor diet is one of the main contributors to type 2 diabetes: sweets, sodas, and greasy, over-processed fast food and packaged snacks are not the foundation of a healthy diet, but unfortunately, they are rapidly becoming American staples. Replace your fast-food diet with one rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains (think brown rice and whole-wheat bread), lean protein like chicken and fish, beans, and low-fat dairy products. Sweets are okay in moderation, but they should be a special treat, not a regular occurrence. Get In Shape For Women recommends one "free" day each week for snacks and adherence to a healthy, balanced diet all other days. In addition, replace sodas and other high-calorie beverages with water, tea, and other low-calorie options. In addition to being better for you, water is essential for life and can help flush out excess waste and keep your body and skin healthy.
- Be active. Set aside some time each day to get exercise. No, you don’t have to be a bodybuilder or an Olympic marathoner – even 30 minutes of activity on a treadmill or elliptical counts as exercise! Over time, build up the length and intensity of your workout to keep your body guessing and increase the amount of calories burned: for example, after a month of brisk walking, consider adding in a few one-minute jogging intervals, or incorporate strength training into your routine. The Diabetes Prevention Program, a major study of prediabetic patients originally published in 2002, showed that just 30 minutes of activity five times a week helped prevent or delay type 2 diabetes – and helped patients lose weight, too.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight greatly increases your risk for type 2 diabetes and related conditions including hypertension, heart disease, and stroke. To get back to a healthy weight for your height and body composition, you must burn more calories than you consume. This should be done through a combination of diet and exercise. Be wary of fad diets or programs that promise rapid, dramatic weight loss with minimal effort – those are not usually ideal for the long term. A good rule of thumb is to aim for losing one-half to two pounds per week, with more weight loss in your first two weeks. Use a food journal or smartphone app to track your food and calorie intake, and fit in moderate exercise on most days of the week. As always, be sure to consult with your doctor or healthcare professional before embarking on any weight-loss program.
- Get some R&R. Life is full of little stressors: between kids, work, bills, and everything else you have to manage on a daily basis, it can be hard to stay on track and develop positive habits. Find a way to de-stress: whether you become a member at Get In Shape For Women, meditate at home or just get more sleep, finding your own balance is crucial to developing – and sticking with – a new, healthier lifestyle. It can be easy to make unhealthy choices when you’re always in a rush. By taking a moment to stop and think, it will be easier to stay focused on your long-term goals.
About Get In Shape For Women
Founded in 2006 by Brian Cook, Get In Shape For Women offers small group, personal training for women in a private, upscale studio. Clients experience weight training, cardio, nutrition support and accountability for a complete fitness program for women. The company currently operates 100 studios in 18 states across the country and expects to add 20-25 additional locations by the end of 2013. Get In Shape For Women plans to grow 25 percent each year toward its eventual goal of 5,000 locations worldwide. The Northeast, particularly New Jersey, is the primary target for growth in 2012. For more information, please visit www.getinshapeforwomen.com.