Diabetes alert

Everyone who gets into exercise as a job has a reason, and that reason tends to influence the type of clients they prefer. I’ve found most fitness professionals fit into one of two categories. Category 1: life-long athletes who can’t imagine a life without sports; and Category 2: those who have embraced fitness and undergone a profound lifestyle transformation.

I fall into Category 2. I have no interest in the athletic types. I get the passion. I’m impressed by the dedication and skill. I appreciate the effort. But those folks are doing just fine without me.

I’m also not particularly interested in injury. I’m confident working with injured or recovering clients, but it’s more of a nuisance than anything. I know for a fact, however, that there are professionals out there who LOVE the puzzle of injuries and recovery. One friend, a podiatrist, recently mentioned her love of “ankle work.” I don’t get the ankle thing (or the foot thing in general; yuck!), but I loved hearing her passion when she talked about her job. And really, it’s a good thing there are people out there who love feet, and the bladder, and the ear, nose and throat.

My passion is exercise as disease management and prevention. That’s a formal way of saying, I like the people who have made a mess of their health, and need to change in order to prevent, or manage lifestyle-type diseases. They are intimidated by the gym and uncomfortable with the discomfort of exercise. They don’t know, or don’t yet care, what a difference movement can make. How finding their “thing” can give them ease and confidence, and restore their health, for crying out loud.

Exercise is magic. I truly believe that.

Diabetes, in particular, really intrigues me. In my last job, I got the awesome opportunity to design and run a diabetes exercise program. Three times a week, participants (all with Type 2 diabetes) came to my class for a supervised workout, encouragement and accountability. At times it was challenging for all of us, but there were folks who saw huge health and fitness improvements. There were also a few who struggled, dropped out, and then disappeared. And one very memorable lady who chewed me out on the weight floor, stomped off, and avoided me ever after. That was pretty funny, actually.

Anyway, the reason I share this with you, is because today is the American Diabetes Association Alert Day.

I took the test, and I hope you will too. Why?

Because diabetes is one nasty disease, and people don’t take it seriously enough. Even those whose health is ravaged by the side effects of uncontrolled blood sugar often don’t “get” how much damage diabetes can do. Diabetes affects every last cell in your body. With diabetes you:

  • are at greater risk for heart disease, stroke, dementia, cancer and kidney failure
  • can go blind
  • take longer to heal from small cuts and blisters, as well as larger injuries
  • might need a limb amputated

Because according to the CDC, the number of diabetes cases has tripled in the past 30 years, and numbers more than 20 million.

Because nearly all Americans who are overweight already have “pre-diabetes,” in which their blood sugar is elevated beyond healthy limits. Pre-diabetics have a significant risk of developing full-blown diabetes, and all the accompanying problems.

Because even though you may not be overweight, you could still be “skinny fat,” with not enough lean tissue, and a little extra belly fat. Yes, you can still have diabetes if you are thin.

Because if are at risk, you can do something about it. Diabetes is manageable, and even reversible, if you commit to changing your lifestyle.

Because for every Diabetes Risk Test taken, Boar’s Head® (meats and cheeses) will donate $5 to the American Diabetes Association starting March 27 through April 27, 2012, up to $50,000.

So, will you take the test?

Btw, If you are interested in a great article about diabetes, check out this link here.

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