Diabetes – It’s Never Too Late to Improve Your Health!

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Question: I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes several years ago and have progressively done all the wrong things to combat it. I now am on daily insulin shots; my condition has been downgraded to level 3. To give you some perspective, level 5 means I have to go on dialysis. My doctor wants me to lose weight. Do you think I can begin a program to effectively lose weight, eat healthier and improve my health status?
Answer: It’s never too late to make changes and improve on your current condition. However, if you had done what the doctor prescribed to improve your health earlier instead of relying on successive varieties of drugs to maintain your condition you may not be facing your current health crisis. I made this statement not to be critical of you, but to hopefully help someone recently diagnosed with diabetes to make drastic changes and improve their quality of life. Perhaps that phrase has become too common and too often heard to make a difference.
Quality of Life
What is “quality of life”? If you’re in your 30’s or 40’s, it’s the ability to play with and keep up with your kids without feeling like you’re going to have a heart attack. It’s being able to do yard work or run down a basketball court without feeling like you were hit by a truck the next day. It’s not taking an assortment of pills by the time you’re 50 and feeling like sludge every time you move from the chair to the couch. It’s not going to the doctor for blood sugar tests, or glaucoma tests because of diabetes. It’s not carrying around a tank of oxygen using a motorized cart to get through the store. And it’s not having to consider which means of gastric bypass should you use.
Exercise and Eating
Exercise and healthy eating can mean disease control and even prevention. In your case, you need to begin with the simplest thing, walking. It doesn’t have to be up a hill or doing sprints. It just needs to be steady and consistent, every day. It’s not a stroll or mall walking. You have to push yourself and be uncomfortable for a bit and each day it will get better. If walking is not an option because you have too many health issues, go to water aerobics with the intention of getting out of the pool and moving on to increasingly difficult means of exercise. Water aerobics is much easier on your joints than walking outside or on a treadmill.
Low glycemic index meal plans which minimize the effect foods have on your blood sugar are readily available through your doctor, or your local hospital or medical center.
Weight Training
Once you can walk at a good pace and are beginning to work up some hills, it will be time to begin with weight training. Weight training requires large amounts of stored sugar, glycogen, for energy and is ideal for those with diabetes in controlling blood sugar. Hire a trainer for a couple of sessions to help you to determine your best course of action in the gym Train at least 2 days a week with weights and continue the cardio daily.
Water
Finally, drink water, at least 8 glasses a day.
You’ll feel better, lose weight and enjoy life more, simply because you feel better.
God bless and keep training,
Daryl

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