If you have high blood sugar levels, you could be on your way to medical complications like retinopathy, kidney damage, nerve damage and poor blood circulation. (via WebMD) Maybe your blood sugar levels aren't quite high enough to be classified as diabetes, but you're headed straight toward that diagnosis. Luckily, there are ways to try and prevent prediabetes from becoming diabetes and bringing all the medical complications that come with it. There are three fundamental things you can do to prevent the onset of diabetes and have a more full, healthier life.
Exercise: According to the American Diabetes Association, physical activity makes your cells more sensitive to insulin so it works more efficiently. During exercise, your cells remove glucose from the blood, lowering your blood glucose and improving your A1C. A normal A1C level is below 5.7 percent, measuring the average glucose levels in your blood. Exercise also strengthens your heart, improving blood circulation and lowering your risk for heart disease. Starting or continuing to exercise for at least 30 minutes each day begins a chain reaction that will boost overall health and wellness and potentially halt the onset of diabetes. This could include a brisk walk, swimming or an organized group fitness class. Whatever your fitness level, get that heart rate up and your sweat on. Try these elliptical workouts for an easy way to get in shape.
Monitor your weight: Going hand-in-hand with physical fitness, monitoring your weight helps you prevent diabetes. According to WebMD, losing as little as 5-10 percent of your body weight makes a huge difference on your odds of getting diabetes. Just 7 percent lost could reduce the risk of diabetes by nearly 60 percent. As you set out on a fitness journey, make sure you track where you've started and the progress you make each day. Set goals for yourself keeping in mind that your health depends on your lifestyle changes. Let that be your motivation.
>> Click here to read about the benefits of losing weight this year.
Eat healthier: Skip the fad diets that cut out particular food groups like grain or dairy. Focus on a diet of variety with portion control as your goal. If you cut out certain foods, you might be losing essential nutrients. Build meals with low-fat protein, whole grains and veggies. Go easy on the calories, sugar and starchy carbs. Pay close attention to your servings sizes because this can be a big part of your healthy diet's success. Your diet can be a large part of making sure everything in your body is balanced and that you are healthy. Find more about diet options at the American Diabetes Association.
>> Read more: 20 Reasons to Limit Sugar in Your Diet
Prediabetes is your warning sign telling you to turn around, so take advantage of it and focus on creating a healthier lifestyle. It's a simple equation that can pay dividends down the road. Talk to your doctor about a blood glucose screening if you meet any of the risks for prediabetes like a body mass index above 25, high blood pressure, age 45 or older, a family history of diabetes or inactivity. It's not too late. Try these 15 Recipes for People With Diabetes to create a fun and flavorful diet.
>> Try these 14 Snacks for Diabetics to keep your day healthy.