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Just Do It !!!

As a certified diabetes educator I spend a great deal of my time, as my title would suggest, educating people with diabetes. There’s a lot of “stuff” people with diabetes need to know, and this knowledge can be incredibly important and useful. But, the information can be overwhelming too. So, I’m very patient, and I try to prioritize teaching what’s most important first. And, what’s most important isn’t always the “nuts and bolts” of carbohydrates and A1C. Some people need to be slowly convinced that diabetes is serious, and deserves their attention. Others need empathetic reassurance that diabetes is not the end of the line – good health is possible. But to be honest, some people just need a swift kick in the rear end because ultimately it’s not as much about what you know as about what you do.

Even a good butt kicking has to be credible, however. So, if you might be a candidate for some excessive motivation to “Just Do It”, consider a study of physical activity that included 15,000 people from the Swedish Diabetes Registry.

When researchers categorized activity levels of these individuals, all with diabetes, they weren’t surprised to see that people in the “low physical activity” (less than once per week) group had a much higher risk of heart attack, stroke or death over the 5 year study period than people in the “regular exercise” (3 times per week) group. But, they were quite surprised to see that people who increased their activity level during the study – went from low activity to exercising 3 times per week – also enjoyed a 67% reduced risk for heart attack, stroke or death from any cause when compared to subjects who remained in the “low physical activity” group over the study period. There was a direct, measurable, and significant effect on health in a relatively short time span.

The message for you – it’s never too late to start. The benefits of lifestyle changes start immediately, and there are clear benefits no matter where you begin. And, with exercise in particular, if you can consistently place one foot in front of the other (i.e., walk) you already have all the knowledge you need. So, unless your doctor has restricted your activity level, it’s up to you to Just Do It – now. Don’t make me come looking for you. 🙂

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.