5 Healthy Habits To Outsmart Diabetes

Learn how you can protect yourself against the often preventable type 2 diabetes.

3. Get active

Physical activity not only helps you lose weight and maintain weight loss by increasing energy output, "exercise also prevents diabetes by increasing muscle sensitivity to insulin," explains Nathan.

To ensure you're getting enough exercise, perform moderate-intensity activity for at least thirty minutes per day, fives days per week, advises Nathan. If you can't fit in a long workout, break it up into smaller sessions spread throughout the day.

4. Lose excess weight

A mere 5 to 10 percent reduction in weight, coupled with 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per day is enough to reduce diabetes risk by 58 percent, according to a diabetes prevention study in Finland.

One important key to successful weight loss is to decrease the amount of fat in the diet. "Fat carries more calories per gram than carbohydrates or protein," adds Nathan, " and it is relatively easy for a person to identify fatty foods and limit them." Complement your healthy diet with an active lifestyle by making regular exercise a part of your life. "For most people, regular aerobic exercise will help to control your weight and to reduce your risk of diabetes," says Nathan.

5. Learn to relax

"Stress can cause the body to release various hormones that enable to body to cope the 'fight-or-flight response.' One of these hormones, cortisol, triggers appetite and favors fat storage around the belly," explains Woodruff, and some experts believe that cortisol may be involved in the development of diabetes by interfering with the release of insulin.

To manage stress, find ways to simplify your life, learn to relax, and deal with emotional issues so they don't block your weight-loss program. This may be as important as nutrition and exercise in the long run.

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