Lifestyle choices, including diet, the level of activity that a person’s body is subjected to, and the mental state all have an impact on the health and well-being of all. But for the diabetic it means the difference between a worsening life and eventual premature death.
It was poor lifestyle choices that caused persons with Type II diabetes to contract the disease in the first place to the extent that 20 per cent of the Barbadian population over 25 is affected; that figure goes to almost 50 per cent for our elderly residents over 65, who are rapidly growing in number. Those with Type One had no choice because they were born with it.
With today, Thursday, being World Diabetes Day, Barbados TODAY decided to share some healthy living tips that could lead to a fulfilling life for anyone, especially the diabetics in our midst.
University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Lecturer in Management Science and Social Psychological Research Dr Dwayne Devonish, has developed a script for wellness, dubbed Four Es, that covers Education, Enablement, Engagement, and Encouragement, a combination of which could take our diabetics along a path of a more satisfying life.
Dr Devonish shared his Four Es while delivering the feature presentation of the Diabetes Association of Barbados annual John Grace Memorial Lecture and panel discussion last week.
Also, at that forum the Ministry of Education’s Hedda Phillips-Bynoe said that while officials continue to struggle with school and home environments where poor lifestyle choices are promoted in eating, the fightback has begun with the introduction of daily themes for the week to engage children while in the learning institution.
Describing the health initiatives as designated healthy days in the week, she said schools are being encouraged to have ‘Movement Mondays’, ‘Training Tuesdays’, ‘Water Wednesdays’, ‘Testing Thursdays’, and ‘Fruit Fridays’.
“We have copied from Springer Memorial School the ‘No Fries Friday’ that we are hoping to push in the schools,” she added. Working on changing habits of school children is vital because it is at that formative age most Barbadians developed poor lifestyle choices, which they are unable to shed as adults though their standard of living and lives are at risk.
The Diabetes Foundation frequently publishes tidbits of advice that can go a long way in making living with diabetes more comfortable. The foundation advises: never underestimate the importance of sleep. Your body requires it to efficiently function and repair itself. Adequate, good quality sleep can help improve insulin sensitivity.
Managing your carbs is essential when it comes to keeping your blood sugar under control. Choose high-fibre carbs, such as green vegetables, fruit, beans, and whole grains and add more broccoli to your diet. This veggie has the ability to help keep blood sugar levels stable by improving the way the body uses insulin. Prepare a few healthy dishes for the week so that you can control exactly what you are putting into your body. Measuring and controlling portions, especially carbohydrate portions, can help control your blood sugar and even help you lose weight.
According to the Foundation, Greek yogurt is usually lower in carbs and higher in protein compared to most other yogurts. It boosts metabolism, improves gut health, lowers blood pressure and improves bone health.
Exercise is an extremely effective tool in diabetes management, but doing loads of cardio will not help if your diet isn’t on point. “You can’t out train a bad diet”, the foundation stated, and added that a person does not always need to go to the gym for an effective workout. Bodyweight exercises can be very effective for fat loss and when done in circuit form, they can elicit similar results to cardio while strengthening your muscles. Follow the workout or just do as many as you can. You can also do normal squats or chair squats and pushups on your knees.
Be sure to consult your physician if you are now getting into exercising. Also remember to warm up before your workout and cool down afterwards. (GA)