Hand in Hand
The link between obesity and Type 2 Diabetes is irrefutable, and as Americans continue to gain weight, the incidence of diabetes is rising. Recent statistics suggest that normal weight people have become a minority in the United States, with 30 percent of us being overweight, and another 34 percent being obese. Diabetes has risen along with the increase in body weight, affecting roughly 11 percent of all adults over age 20.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, 85 percent of all diabetics are overweight or obese. Researchers point out that diabetes is a symptom, rather than a disease, noting several factors that play a role. Genetically, humans are efficient at storing energy as fat. This harkens back to times of feast or famine, where our ancestors went for long spells with little or no food. When food was available, they made up for the hungry season, feasting and storing excess food as fat.
The Stress Connection
Stress is another cause of Type 2 Diabetes. Chronic stress puts us in a perpetual “fight or flight” stage that elevates circulating blood sugar. Stress is often accompanied by poor sleep, overeating and drinking excessive alcohol, all of which contribute to diabetes symptoms. Even very thin individuals can exhibit signs of diabetes when living in a constant state of stress.
The great news is that Type 2 diabetes is reversible, and the condition is immediately responsive to lifestyle interventions. Regular moderate to vigorous exercise performed for at least 30 minutes daily is a good place to start. Find something you enjoy, like walking on the beach or in a park. Replace soft drinks and juices with plain filtered water, or add a slice of lemon, lime or cucumber for flavor. Avoid refined carbohydrates like flour, rice and other refined grains. Stick to fresh produce and organic sources of protein for your daily meals.
Our goal at W.I.T.S. is to provide our fitness professionals with all the resources necessary to meet your clients’ needs. For professional growth, be sure to keep current with Continuing Education. We offer courses ranging from Fitness to Sales and Marketing to Business Management. Consider making yourself more marketable by earning an additional Certification such as Personal Trainer Certification, Older Adult Fitness Specialist, Group Exercise Instructor Certification, Youth Fitness Certification, Lifestyle Fitness Coaching or Fitness Management. To help your diabetic clients, zero in on our numerous Nutrition courses, and courses focused on Special Populations. And remember to get your Digital Badge, so all your friends and contacts on Social Media will know that you are a dedicated fitness professional.
American Diabetes Association: How Stress Affects Diabetes
Harvard Gazette: Obesity? Diabetes? We’ve been set up.