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Things Only The Loved Ones Of People With Diabetes Would Know

Things Only The Loved Ones Of People With Diabetes Would Know

Diabetes is an illness that commonly affects many of our loved ones and close friends, yet it is often misunderstood. Tom Hanks has famously been known to have diabetes and has brought light to this illness.

There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong disease which affects the way the body handles sugar in the bloodstream. Here are some common myths about those who suffer from type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is not a serious illness

Diabetes may not be seen in the same category of illness as heart disease or cancer, but it is in fact a chronic illness that is responsible for more deaths annually than AIDS and breast cancer combined. It is also known that diabetic individuals have twice the risk of having a heart attack. Luckily, there are medications that help monitor diabetes and therefore can lower risks for associated complications.

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Only overweight people have diabetes

Being overweight and having diabetes often seem to have close associations, but the truth is that anyone can develop this disease, no matter what their BMI is. Other risk factors that are important to pay attention to besides weight are age, family history, and ethnicity.

People with diabetes should only eat certain “diabetic” foods

Specific foods that are labeled as “diabetic” are not really as effective as eating a well-rounded diet that is low in fat and sugars. Diabetic foods often raise blood sugar levels, produce a laxative effect, and end up being more expensive on average.

Diabetics cannot eat any form of sugar

In small amounts, sugar is fine for someone with diabetes to consume. You do not have to worry about hiding all the chocolate when a diabetic person is present, since having a small sweet treat every once in a while is completely acceptable.

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You can catch diabetes from someone else

The reasons why some people develop diabetes is still unclear, but it is definitely not contagious. Spending time with loved ones who suffer from this disease will only aid your connection to them, something that the both of you will benefit from.

Diabetics have weak immune systems

Diabetics are no more susceptible to colds or the flu than the average person. However, it is recommended for them to get a flu shot because of the possibly serious complications that they could suffer as a result of the flu.

A need for insulin means diabetics have poorly monitored their diabetes

For some diabetics, their blood sugar can be controlled by lifestyle changes, such as a well-balanced diet, medication, and exercise. As the disease progresses, sometimes the pancreas can simply stop creating enough insulin and diabetics will be required by their physician to inject insulin into their bodies. This is not related to poor maintenance on the individual’s part, but rather just is a natural progression of the illness.

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Diabetics know when their blood sugar is low

People with diabetes do not always know when their blood sugar is low, especially as it can be confused with other things like feeling lightheaded from the common flu. The longer that someone has diabetics, the better they get at knowing when their low blood sugar is related to their diabetes.

Carbohydrates are bad for diabetics

Carbs often get a bad rap for diabetics because they are known to affect blood sugar levels. Not all carbs are created equal though, and whole grains can be eaten in moderation and are actually a crucial part of a balanced diet.

Insulin can make up for an unhealthy diet

Taking insulin does not mean that diabetics have a free pass to eat anything that they want. It is still important to take medication in addition to a healthy diet that is low in sugar and fat.

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Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 14, 2019

7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

7 Ways To Make Exercise Fun For Everyone

From Atkins to Paleo to eating gluten-free despite not being one of the rare few people afflicted with celiac disease, fad diets are everywhere. It drives me crazy because I believe these diets do more harm than good. Your body is made up of a variety of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, and losing weight healthily isn’t possible when you fill your body with unnecessary synthetic plastics, sugars, and powders. There’s no easy button in life.

What you need to do is exercise, which isn’t very appealing to many people. Workouts take work, so there’s already a stigma involved in going to the gym. Starting a healthy workout regimen becomes easier when you make it fun. If you want to live long and prosper, get off the couch and try these methods to turn your workout into a playout.

1. Take the scenic route.

Walking is an easy way to transition to a healthy lifestyle, and it’s free. Not only do you burn calories (check out this calculator for how many calories you burn based on your weight), but you see the world in a different way. Hiking in nature is great if you have access to it, but don’t let living in an urban area deter you from walking.

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Whenever I’m creatively stuck I get my head straight by walking a couple of miles. It’s also how I discover new paths, meet new people, and stumble upon hole-in-the-wall spots I never would have found otherwise. You could drive past the same place every day and never appreciate the beauty, nor even notice it’s there.

2. Distract yourself.

No matter what exercise routine you choose, use the time to meditate. You may wonder how marathon runners are able to put so many miles on their bodies. It’s because the pain from running that you avoid is something they’ve learned to harness to enter a transcendental state. If you’re aware of the benefits of meditation and exercise but don’t have time to do both, you can combine them, killing two birds with one healthy stone.

3. Listen to music or podcasts.

There are few experiences in life more pleasurable than turning up the music and drowning out the world around you. With so many podcasts and music apps available on your smartphone, you can easily find entertainment options perfectly suited to your personal tastes. Never worry what people may think of you when working out;instead, crank up the volume and get lost in your own world. You’ll be in shape before you know it.

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4. Bring a friend.

Some people can’t go anywhere alone. While I highly recommend dining out and seeing a movie in a theater alone, having company while exercising is very helpful. It allows you to pace yourself with someone else, and gives you a coach to motivate and push harder than you may have on your own.

Many exercises are safer when done with a friend, and some sports can only be played with another person. Involving others in your goals can mean the difference between success and failure. Just remember to continue exercising if the other person flakes, or they’ll be in control of your health.

5. Accessorize.

There are accessories that can make exercise easier, and sometimes buying a new toy can add some much-needed fun to your routine. With apps like RunKeeper and Nike+, your smartphone is capable of tracking your vitals and progress. Wrist weights can add a new dimension to your workout, and, if you exercise at night, a headlamp can help you see what’s in front of you so you don’t trip.

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For urban runners and power-walkers, one of the biggest obstacles is other people. It’s difficult to get in your meditative zone and enjoy your music when you constantly have to dodge people. To resolve this vexing issue, Runbell, a startup in Tokyo, has developed the runner’s version of the bicycle bell. With this lightweight brass bell warning people you’re approaching from behind, you’re free to maintain your transcendental state while continuing your workout. Head to their Kickstarter campaign to pledge your support.

6. Compete.

A little healthy competition can motivate you to push yourself further in your workout regimen. There are apps like Zombies, Run! which turns your run into a video game, and MyFitnessPal which allows you to connect with others in the exercise community. Whether you’re directly competing with a friend, an online community, or against your previous self, setting goals is the key to reaching them. Running with no destination can feel like an impossible task, and it’s easy to get distracted.

7. Relax.

The best part about exercising is how much you enjoy the downtime. If you think laying on your couch all day is enjoyable, it has nothing on that hour you spend as a couch potato after a rigorous workout. Jay-Z said it best, “in order to experience joy, you need pain.” The harder you push yourself while exercising, the better you’ll feel when you’re relaxing.

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With that said, don’t relax too much, or it loses the effect. It’s okay to indulge every so often. Treat yourself to some junk food you’re craving, imbibe a drink here and there, and spend a day vegging out on your couch. Staying healthy doesn’t have to be torture. Just turn down when you can and dedicate some time to better the health of your body. You only get one.

Featured photo credit: tpsdave via pixabay.com

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