November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. As a leading community-based organization dedicated to improving the nation’s health, the YMCA encourages and supports its members with educational programming like the Y’s Diabetes Self-Management Program.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 84 million people in the United States have prediabetes. And, only 10 percent of those with prediabetes know they have it; but with awareness and simple actions, people with prediabetes may prevent the onset of diabetes.
Individuals can assess their risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes by taking a simple test at YMCA.net/diabetes. Through this assessment, visitors can also learn how lifestyle choices and family history help determine the ultimate risk of developing the disease. Several factors that could put a person at risk for type 2 diabetes include race, age, weight and activity level. If a person is at risk, a diabetes screening conducted by a physician can confirm a diabetes or prediabetes diagnosis.
Making some basic lifestyle changes that contribute to weight loss and healthy living can also decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes, including:
- Eating fruits and vegetables every day.
- Choosing fish, lean meats and poultry without skin.
- Aiming for whole grains with every meal.
- Being moderately active, getting at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week.
- Choosing water to drink instead of beverages with added sugar.
- Speaking to your doctor about your diabetes risk factors, especially if you have a family history or are overweight.
To help combat prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, the Y offers a free Diabetes Self-Management Program for diabetics, pre-diabetics and caregivers. The 7-week program provides valuable information and tools for self-managing diabetes. New classes will get underway in early January 2020.
To learn more about this program, contact Healthy Living and Seniors Activities Coordinator Cindy Moss at (815) 267-8600, ext. 214 or via email at [email protected].