National Diabetes Month & Physical Activity

Written by the Weight-control Information Network

Did you know it’s almost National Diabetes Month? Each November this observance is a chance to raise awareness about diabetes, which affects more than 29.1 million Americans—over 9 percent of the U.S. population—according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Luckily, people more likely to develop type 2 diabetes may reduce their chances if they increase physical activity and adopt other healthy habits.

Here are some active living tips that may help keep you moving and improve your health:

  • Be active with your kids. Hike, play tag, or toss a softball. Physical activity is good for them, too.
  • Walk or take an exercise class with a friend or a group. You can cheer each other on, have company, and feel safer when you are outdoors.
  • Choose parking spots that are farther from where you are going and walk the rest of the way. (Make sure the places you park and walk are well lit.)
  • Walk around inside of a mall in bad weather.
  • Schedule workouts as you would any other appointment, and stick to your plan.

For more ideas for physical activity, check out the Weight-control Information Network’s Energize Yourself and Your Family! and Better Health and You: Tips for Adults.These publications list the benefits of physical activity, describe different kinds of activity, and provide tips to overcome barriers to activity.

For content related to physical activity and diabetes, check out these materials from the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP). Sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and the CDC, NDEP includes more than 200 federal, state, and local partners working together to improve diabetes treatment and outcomes, promote early diagnosis, and prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. For ideas and tools for raising awareness of diabetes and ways to prevent or delay it, go to NDEP’s National Diabetes Month webpage.

Have you celebrated National Diabetes Month, or other observances, in ways that helped you or others to be healthier? What did you do?