Diabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are above normal. People with diabetes have problems converting food to energy. Food is broken down into a sugar called glucose, which is carried by the blood to cells throughout the body. Cells use the hormone insulin, made in the pancreas, to help them process blood glucose into energy. People with diabetes can prevent or delay complications by keeping blood glucose levels close to normal. Being overweight and inactive increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes. Treatment includes taking diabetes medicines, making wise food choices, exercising regularly, taking aspirin daily, and controlling blood pressure and cholesterol.
A study of people at high risk for diabetes showed that moderate diet and exercise resulting in a 5 to 7 percent weight loss can delay and possibly prevent type 2 diabetes. Exercising regularly, reducing fat and calorie intake, and losing weight can all help one reduce risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels also helps one stay healthy. By making wise food choices, one can help control body weight, blood pressure and cholesterol.
Regular exercise tackles several risk factors at once. It helps you lose weight, keeps your cholesterol and blood pressure under control, and helps your body use insulin. If you are not very active, you should start slowly, talking with your doctor first about what kinds of exercise would be safe for you. Make a plan to increase your activity level toward the goal of being active for at least 30 minutes a day most days of the week.