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5 Changes to Help Improve Your Health

Here are five lifestyle changes you can make to improve your health and reduce your risk of developing pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes:

1. Lose weight. Extra weight makes it harder for your body to produce and use insulin, causing glucose to build up in your blood. Every pound counts, so even if you’ve got a long way to go, you’re doing your body good with each pound lost.

2. Add a minimum of 20 minutes of exercise to your daily routine. You’ll help with weight loss, lower your blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity.

3. Change your eating habits to include more fiber and whole grains. Your grocery list should make room for fruits, vegetables, beans and nuts with choices like brown rice and whole-wheat pasta instead of the white processed variety. Choose lean meats and non-fat dairy products and have fish a few times a week as well.

4. Smokers nearly double their risk of developing diabetes, so it’s yet another reason to kick the nasty habit.

5. Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum. That means one drink for women and two for men. Too much booze can damage the pancreas, impairing its ability to secrete insulin.

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Stress Less!

Our lives are stressful, which can affect our diabetes. Stress can be physical or mental (injury, illness, problems in your marriage, job, health, or finances).

There are a few dangers of increased stressed levels.

* Stress can lead to changes in blood glucose levels.

* Stress contributes to insulin resistance

* Stress leads to weight gain

Below are just a few strategies to reduce your level of stress and improve your health.

* Exercise more (walking, swimming, bicycling, etc.).

* Make a friend and have a support system.

* Start a new hobby or learn a new craft.

* Start an exercise program or join a sports team.

* Take a break and relax. Consider meditation, biofeedback, self-hypnosis and progressive muscle relaxation.

* Take dance lessons or join a dancing club.

* Volunteer at a hospital or charity.

Linking Stress to Diabetes and Heart Disease from New York Times

5 Strategies For Blasting Stress from Accu Chek

Complications Stress from Diabetes.org

How Does Stress Affect Diabetes And How Can I Better Manage Stress? From ABC News

Chronic Stress Raises Diabetes Risk from Huffington Post

3 ways stress affects diabetes from Best Health Mag

Bad Health Habits

Here is a list of health habits you should avoid, especially if you have diabetes:

* Avoiding doctor visits

* Being a couch potato

* Being a night owl

* Drinking alcohol

* Indulging your sweet tooth

* Smoking

* Not tracking blood sugar

* Self-diagnosing

* Skipping medicine

* Skipping sleep altogether

* Yo-yo dieting

Got Diabetes? Drop These Bad Health Habits from Everyday Health


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