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easy ways to prevent type 2 diabetes - healthmint medical centre

5 Easy Ways to Lower Your Type 2 Diabetes Risk

By Diabetes, Nutrition

What is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease that affects millions worldwide. With type 2 diabetes, the way the body processes blood sugar (glucose) levels is affected as the body either produces not enough insulin or it resists insulin. This results in too much glucose being present in the blood. Effects of uncontrolled cases can cause serious health issues including kidney failure, heart disease and blindness to name a few. 

There are certain factors that may influence your likelihood to develop type 2 diabetes that you can’t change, such as genes, age and past behaviours. However, there are many actions you can take to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 

The good news is that pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes are largely preventable. Making positive lifestyle changes is the number one way to avoid the disease. These same changes can also help lower the chances of developing other conditions like heart disease and some cancers. 

Achieving a healthy weight, eating a balanced carbohydrate controlled diet, getting regular exercise and not smoking all help to improve blood glucose control. 

Most people know they need to make changes, but it can be difficult to know how to stick with it. 

Don’t forget you’re not alone in this – your GP can help support you, and a Dietitian can complement this by helping to set goals that are realistic and work for you. Changing one thing at a time and making the changes part of your every day is a great way to set you up for successfully lowering your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 

Ways to lower your type 2 diabetes risk

 

1. Exercise 

Keeping up regular physical activity several days a week may help prevent diabetes. Working out more frequently and working your muscles more often leads to improvements in insulin response and function. High intensity, strength training and interval training have been shown to reduce insulin resistance and blood sugar in those in high risk categories for diabetes. 

Simple walking briskly for a half hour every day can reduce the risk of developing the disease by up to 30%.

excersise is important for preventing type 2 diabetes

2. Keeping your weight under control

If you are overweight, diabetes prevention may hinge on weight loss. Every kilo you lose can improve your health. 

keeping your weight under control is important for preventing type 2 diabetes

3. Cut out the sugary beverages and processed foods

Eating and drinking things containing high levels of sugar and refined carbs can put those at risk of diabetes on the fast track to developing type 2 diabetes. Sugary drinks like soft drinks, fruit juices and pre-mixed alcoholic drinks have been linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. 

Consuming adequate amounts of water may provide benefits. Some studies have found that increased water consumption may lead to better blood sugar control and insulin response, thereby reducing the risk of diabetes. 

Processed foods are linked to all sorts of health problems including heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Cutting back on packaged foods that are high in vegetable oils, refined grains, refined carbs, excess sugar and additives may help reduce the risk of diabetes. Focusing on whole foods like nuts, fruits, vegetables, and lean meats can be beneficial.  

cutting out sugar foods and drinks helps to prevent type 2 diabetes

4. Quit Smoking 

It’s well known that smoking has been shown to either cause or contribute to a multitude of serious health conditions, including many types of cancers, emphysema, and heart disease. 

There has been research linking both smoking and second hand smoke exposure to type 2 diabetes. Quitting has been shown to reduce the risk over time. 

Quitting smoking helps to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes

5. Optimise Vitamin D Levels

Vitamin D is important for blood sugar control. Studies have found that people who don’t get enough vitamin D have a greater risk of all types of diabetes. Good food sources of vitamin D include fatty fish and cod liver oil, in addition to a safe amount of sun exposure. Vitamin D levels can also be increased with supplements. 

The best way to lower your risk of type 2 diabetes is knowing you have control over many of the factors that influence diabetes. Pre-diabetes can be seen as a motivator for making the necessary changes that can help to reduce your risk. Consuming the right foods and adopting other lifestyle behaviours that promote healthy blood sugar and insulin levels will give you the best chance at avoiding diabetes. 

food sources that help increase levels of vitamin D - which can help prevent type 2 diabetes

Ask a HealthMint GP about: 

  • A weight loss program or group 
  • Seeing a registered dietitian 
  • A type 2 diabetes prevention program

It can also help to get your family and friends involved – eating better and moving more is good for everyone! 

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8 Benefits of Exercise

By Body Systems, Chronic Disease, Chronic Pain, Diabetes, General Wellbeing, Lifestyle, Men's Health, Mental Health, Women's Health No Comments

Living a healthy lifestyle can be beneficial to your health, prevent some illnesses and diseases and can help to improve your mental health! Here we look into 8 benefits of exercise. 

1. Exercise boosts and benefits your mood

One of the most common mental benefits of exercise is stress relief. Exercise helps to block negative thoughts and distracts from daily worries and stresses. It  only releases the levels of, but also increases the levels of chemicals like serotonin and endorphins that can moderate responses to stress. It’s a win win!

benefits of exercise improve mood healthmint 2. Exercise assists in weight loss and helps prevent unhealthy weight gain

Exercise is extremely helpful in the journey of weight loss and weight management. Exercise speeds up metabolism, and increased activity levels increases the body’s fuel consumption (calories).

Regular physical activity combined with a healthy diet will increase the chances of weight loss.

8 benefits of exercise control weight loss healthmint3. Exercise reduces the risk of and helps to manage cardiovascular disease, reduce risk of heart attack, lower blood cholesterol, lower blood pressure

Regular physical activity can greatly reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure and can actually also help to lower blood pressure! Lowering the levels of cholesterol and keeping your arteries clear of fatty deposits by undertaking regular exercise can reduce the chances of heart attacks and strokes.

8 benefits of exercise cardiovascular health heart healthmint4. Social interaction and exercise go hand-in-hand

Find an exercise buddy – grab a friend or family member and hit the pavement. Let’s face it, exercise is more fun with someone and it works both ways to motivate each other and keeps each other’s exercise goals in check.

8 benefits of exercise socialising healthmint5. Build strong muscles and bones

Exercise that involves weight bearing like walking, stair climbing, weightlifting helps to preserve bone mass which can help protect against osteoporosis. Exercise also builds and strengthens muscles which in turn protects the bones from injury and support and protect the jones that might be susceptible to or affected by arthritis. It also improves the blood supply to muscles and can help prevent age related loss of muscle mass.

8 benefits of exercise strong kids dad family healthmint

6. Reduce the risk and help manage Type 2 Diabetes

For those with Type 2 Diabetes, physical exercise is a critical party of the treatment plan. Exercise can reduce the glucose in your blood! It helps with keeping blood glucose levels in check and in the correct range. Controlling blood glucose levels is essential in combating long term complications such as heart problems.

7. Exercise helps with sleep quality and benefits energy levels

When you exercise, your body naturally depletes its energy stores which helps when trying to fall asleep. When exercising, you may have longer, deeper and greater quality sleeps which helps make you feel more energised throughout the day. Around 30 minutes of exercise is all it can take for a better nights sleep and more energised days!

8 benefits of exercise boost mood aid sleep healthmint8. Lower the risk of falls with exercise

Exercise is a proven way to prevent falls by improving balance and strengthening the muscles that keep us upright.  As we get older, a fear of falling may limit the decision to want to undertake exercise – but this can have a damaging affect and actually increase the risks of developing chronic diseases and the probability of falls.

Of course, there are many more reasons other than these 8 benefits of exercise to consider. Being regularly physically active will always have positive effects on your mind, body and soul, it’s just about finding the types of exercise that suits you and your lifestyle, setting small, achievable goals to start off with, and building up the process of becoming a healthier, happier YOU!

Before undergoing any new types of exercise make sure you have a medical check from your HealthMint GP. You can even get a FREE* Health Check Up (valued at $159) to get you started on your journey to great health and on your way to your fitness and exercise goals.

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