According to The Center For Disease Control diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Tens of thousands of children and adults die each year. Although diabetes is very prevalent, you can help prevent it through diet and exercise.

What Is Diabetes

The American Diabetes Association defines diabetes mellitus as “a group of diseases characterized by high blood glucose levels that result from defects in the body's ability to produce and use insulin”. Your body uses glucose as an energy source. It is transported into your cells by insulin, which is a hormone produced by the pancreas. If you have diabetes, your blood glucose level remains high. This can be because your body produces no insulin, not enough insulin, or because your cells do not respond to the insulin.

Types Of Diabetes

Type I diabetes, (also known as juvenile diabetes, because it usually is diagnosed in childhood) occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin.

Type II diabetes is the most common and preventable
form of diabetes. This occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin or
the cells do not respond to the insulin. Gestational diabetes occurs during
pregnancy.

Risk Factor

The number one risk factor is being overweight. The more fatty tissue you have, the more your cells become insulin-resistant. Inactivity is another risk factor because if you are inactive, you are less likely to burn off any excess glucose. Having a family history of diabetes also increases your chance of developing the disease. Age and race are also common risk factors for diabetes.

Prevention

Prevention of diabetes is important because diabetes is linked to
many other diseases such as heart disease, blindness, and high blood pressure. Lifestyle choices consisting of a healthy diet and moderate exercise 30 minutes a day, five days a week reduced the onset of type II diabetes by 58 % in individuals who were at high risk for developing the disease.

Exercise

Whether you have diabetes or not, you should incorporate aerobic exercise, strength training, flexibility training, and regular physical activity into your weekly routine. The American Diabetes Association recommends at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, five days a week and strength training at least twice a week to help strengthen your muscles and bones. The more muscle you have the more calories you burn, thus decreasing your glucose levels and stored fat. Stretch for at
least five minutes before and after your workout. Being active throughout the day also is important in diabetes prevention because it burns excess calories throughout the day witch keeps your blood sugar low.