Many people who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes lead a sedentary lifestyle. Exercising more can offer significant benefits. Physical exercise helps women to manage weight and lowers blood sugar. Start slow. Women can begin by taking a walk 3-4 times a week for 30 minutes at a time. Over time, work on building intensity and duration. Exercise makes a significant difference. In one study, people with prediabetes who lost just 5% of body weight decreased the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58%.
Improve sleep hygiene
Many people never stop to consider sleep routines. But poor sleep and type 2 diabetes are connected. Insufficient sleep can interfere with insulin regulation, which makes weight loss more difficult and increases cravings. Improve sleep hygiene by incorporating relaxing activities into an evening routine. This might include meditating, reading, or taking a bath. Try to avoid devices such as smartphones and tablets at least 2 hours before bedtime.
Change your diet
A poor diet is one of the most significant risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Specifically, eating lots of sugar-laden or processed foods can be particularly harmful. Instead of snacking on chips, opt for whole wheat crackers or homemade popcorn. Rather than reaching for dessert, try to choose fresh fruits. To keep blood sugar under control, try to limit daily fruit servings to less than 3 per day. Load up on vegetables and get plenty of whole grains and lean proteins.
Get your bloodwork checked
Some women may be surprised to know that vitamin D deficiency is a contributing risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Ask a healthcare provider about checking bloodwork to see if any supplements will be beneficial. For some patients, the right supplements can decrease the need for diabetes medication. Specifically, vitamin D, probiotics, and cinnamon have all been linked with improved insulin regulation.
Change your habits, change your life
Prediabetes can be a startling wake-up call. But the good news is that the condition is reversible. Use a prediabetes diagnosis as a motivator to improve health habits. For more information about prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, speak with a healthcare provider.