There’s a lot you do each and every day. Whether you are a father, coworker, spouse, leader, friend, or grandfather – or more than one of these – many people rely on you to be there for them as a role model, supporter, and provider. With your loved ones, job, and hobbies competing for your attention, it can be hard to see how making time for your own health is important. You may know the basic aspects of staying healthy, like getting physical activity or eating more fruits and vegetables and think that’s enough to get by.
But imagine in the future being slowed down by health challenges. Picture more doctor’s visits or dealing with heart issues. What would you do if you found yourself feeling drained without the energy to do the activities that matter to you? If you knew trouble was ahead, you’d want to take action to avoid it and keep yourself moving and stay independent.
One serious health condition to be aware of is type 2 diabetes, where your body can’t properly convert food into energy, leading to high blood sugar levels. Over time, high blood sugar from diabetes can cause other health problems such as a stroke, blindness, or loss of a toe, foot, or leg. With those kinds of potential complications, wouldn’t you want to know your risk so you can take steps to prevent type 2 diabetes?
Change Your Lifestyle this Men’s Health Month
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 96 million US adults have prediabetes – a condition where your blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough for a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. Of that large number, more than 8 in 10 people with prediabetes don’t even know they have it. This means that many men just like you are on the path to developing type 2 diabetes and may not realize until it’s too late to change course. The good news is that through the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP), CDC is working to help adults with prediabetes get fit and live better for their future.
The National DPP offers a lifestyle change program to help you take the practical steps to healthier living. The great thing about the lifestyle change program is that it doesn’t just teach you about type 2 diabetes prevention, but also focuses on giving you actionable steps that will make a difference for a lifetime. For example, we all know including fruits and veggies into our diets is a good thing, but this can be hard to do with busy schedules and lots of responsibilities. Or while exercise is needed for our bodies, maybe you work long hours and can’t make it to the gym or don’t have the energy for intense activity like running.
These challenges are common to many men, and the solutions might surprise you! Check out these tips from the lifestyle change program as a sneak peek into how we at Whatley Health Services support you in ways that work with your everyday life.
Eat Better. How can you fit healthier eating into your routine?
- The next time you’re at a convenience store, grab a fruit cup instead of chips.
- When you go to the drive through, ask for a side salad instead of fries.
- If you pack food for work, add some carrots or celery sticks with a healthy dip as a quick and easy snack.
Get Fit. What kinds of physical activity can get your heart pumping?
- Choose to take the stairs instead of the elevator for a short activity boost in your day.
- Take a break from work for just 5 minutes to stretch or walk down the hall.
- Go outside with grandkids, pets, or your partner; you can mow the lawn or do other yard work, toss a ball, or go for a walk to add some movement to your schedule.
Manage Stress. With all you have to do, how can you stay focused and reduce stress?
- Set an alarm each night to remind you to get ready for bed for 8 hours of sleep.
- Pause for a few minutes in your day and get some fresh air.
- Take an hour this week to catch up on a book, TV show, or hobby you enjoy.
These swaps may seem small, but little changes add up and can make a big difference on your overall health. And the results speak for themselves! Participants who follow through with the program’s challenge to eat better, get moving, and manage stress can cut their risk of type 2 diabetes in half while losing weight and being energized for what matters most to them.
Join Our Lifestyle Change Program
Here at Whatley Health Services, we offer the lifestyle change program Change Your Lifestyle. Change Your Life. (CYL2). The men in our community do so much for others, and our mission is to help you feel your best so you can keep on giving your best to those around you.
So what do you have to lose? Visit bit.ly/WHSQUIZ and take our short quiz to see if you’re at risk.