Diabetes: Good and bad news
A 2019 report suggests that after years of rising and then a plateau, the number of new type 2 diabetes diagnoses actually declined in 2017, which is fantastic news. The not-so-good news is that type 2 diabetes cases are rising in adolescents and young adults at an alarming rate. Today, more than 30 million Americans are living with the disease, and about 95 percent have type 2 diabetes, which is the type that can be caused by a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors like diet and exercise. (Type 1 diabetes, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disease triggered by factors unrelated to diet and exercise.) These people with type 1 or 2 diabetes reveal how they manage their conditions.
Stay active and track your reactions
When David Weingard was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 36, he faced with some tough adjustments. From taking his new medication to monitoring his blood sugar, he fought to stay active and fit, eventually founding his diabetes coaching company, Fit4D. For Weingard, exercising had to remain a part of his life and he encourages other diabetics to do the same.
“Exercise is critical to long-term physical and mental health. Mentally, we need positive energy (and endorphins) to combat the 24/7 strain of the condition. Physically, we need to help our bodies stay strong and avoid the long-term effects and complications of diabetes,” he says.
But to figure out how much you can withstand and what works for your body, he also notes that keeping track your reactions will help create a plan that works uniquely for you. “Detailed record keeping is a key factor in realizing the benefits of exercise and minimizing blood sugar swings—especially highs and lows. You can reference these records to repeat workouts and your body should yield similar results most of the time,” he says. Find out what the best exercises are for people with diabetes.