Simple Steps to Get Moving and Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes and Heart Disease
Want to lower your risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease? All it takes is 10 minutes of physical
activity three times a day. Ten times three – it’s really that simple. And it’s what the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention recommend to help you lower your blood pressure, manage your cholesterol and lose
In the United States today, one in three adults is at risk for type 2 diabetes, and heart disease is the leading cause of death. But exercising for 30 minutes each day can make a big difference in cutting your risk for these deadly diseases. And you don’t have to hit the gym to reap the benefits of staying active. You can take three 10-minute walks after meals or find other simple ways to fit activity into your busy life.
According to health experts, any physical activity is better than none – and even the smallest steps can make a big difference. Here are four tips to keep in mind:
- Stay active all day. It’s easy to exercise while you’re doing other things. On a visit to the grocery store, park at the far end of the lot and walk a lap around the inside of the store before you begin shopping. At work, take the stairs rather than the elevator – you might get to your floor faster anyway. At home, walk around while you chat on your cell phone. If you’re babysitting, get down on the floor with the children and join in an activity.
- Enjoy yourself. Even brisk exercise need not feel like a chore. You don’t have to run at a track – you can play with your dog at the park. No need to drive all the way to the gym; you can garden for half an hour at home. It doesn’t have to be a solo activity. Go for a stroll at the mall with a friend.
- Make a game of it. Get a pedometer and count how many steps you take each day. Once you have an idea of how many steps you take in a day, set a goal to raise your average. Aim to add 100 steps every day until you reach 10,000, or work to add 1,000 a week.
- Set a goal. Create a realistic and specific goal that outlines how long and how often you will do the activity. One idea is to use the Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes Training Plan. The plan shows you how long and how often you should walk, with the end goal of participating in your local Step Out event. Ask your employer about the training plan or visit www.diabetes.org/stepout to learn how you can become involved in Step Out.