This year, put healthy living at the top of your 2023 “to-do for you” list. You don’t have to make drastic changes. You can include healthy habits in your daily routine to improve your health and reduce your chance for developing type 2 diabetes. Wondering where to begin? Here’s what you can do.
First, learn your risk for type 2 diabetes.
Could you have prediabetes? If so, you’d be part of more than one in three adults who has this serious health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not yet high enough for a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. Prediabetes increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, as well as other serious health problems. The good news is that you can frequently reverse prediabetes with healthy lifestyle changes.
The first step to a healthier you is to know whether you’re at risk. Take a one-minute risk test at cdc.gov/diabetes/risktest to find out your risk. Your doctor can also run a blood test to see if you have prediabetes.
Then take action.
If you find out that you have prediabetes or have a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, start taking steps to improve your health. Make an action plan of specific ways that you can eat healthier and exercise more in the new year. Here are some ideas:
- Make more balanced food choices: Choose non-starchy vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins over processed foods, trans fats, sugary drinks and alcohol. Don’t try to do too much at once—make a plan that you think you’ll be able to stick to.
- Exercise more: Find an activity that you enjoy and set a goal that works for you. Gradually work up to being active at a moderate intensity for at least 30 minutes, five days a week.
Write down your action plan to help you stay accountable. Make sure your plan is realistic, specific, flexible and enjoyable! See our article on setting SMART goals.
You don’t have to do it alone.
Making a change isn’t easy, and you don’t have to do it alone. Valley’s Diabetes Prevention Program, part of the CDC’s National Diabetes Prevention program, offers a lifestyle change class that can help you learn the skills you need to get healthier and reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In the 12-month program, participants work in a group with a trained lifestyle coach to learn how to make long-term changes. The first group class of 2023 starts Feb. 7. Get more information and register for the Feb. 7 group class.
It’s a new year. Get started on your healthier life!