Guest Blogger: American Diabetes Month

Carolyn at FullonFit blog approach me to write a guest post this November, in honor of American Diabetes Month. It’s a topic that’s so important, especially with the rise in obesity amongst children in the United States. I’m so thankful that she contributed to my blog with such an important post!

Type II Diabetes & Children: What You Need to Know

It’s November – which usually is attributed to changing seasons,
preparing for Thanksgiving, raking (lots of) leaves, and the start to (for me anyways) highly-anticipated shopping for the holidays. However, November is also American Diabetes Month, and as Type II Diabetes has become much more prevalent in children, it’s important that you inform yourself about this disease and how you can prevent your child from developing it. People normally think of diabetes as being a disease that only affects adults, however, the fastest growing group affected by Type 2 Diabetes is actually children. It’s important to take this issue seriously, as diabetes is directly correlated with heart disease. Proper diabetes care will reduce a child’s risk of developing heart disease later in their
life.

What the Research Says : Risk Factors
The spike in Type II Diabetes cases mirrors an increase in obesity
among children. Since being overweight or obese is a major risk factor for developing diabetes, this makes perfect sense. It also shines a spotlight on the need for greater physical fitness in our young people.

It has been known for a while that unhealthy diets can lead to
developing diabetes. A study published in Diabetes Care found that
drinking just two sugared beverages daily raises your risk of developing diabetes by 25 percent. These same people also had a 20 percent greater chance of having metabolic syndrome — something that people develop prior to developing diabetes.

Another risk factor for developing Type 2 Diabetes is a lack of physical activity. That is why it is so important to be sure that your child gets regular exercise or physical activity several times a day! This exercise does not have to be drudgery either. In fact, you will want to make sure it is fun for them so they stay with the program. Regular physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your child in preventing diabetes.

Exercise
You are only limited by your own imagination in coming up with ways for your child to get some physical activity. Just playing with their friends outdoors is often enough – jump roping, playing hop scotch, playing tag or hide-and-seek — provided they work up a good sweat. The important thing is to make it fun for them so they will stay interested. What you are doing is making health a lifelong habit for them.

Yoga
Yoga is an alternate form of exercise that is growing in popularity. It
can help your child maintain a healthy weight, increase flexibility, and improve joint health. The various yoga poses encourages joint fluid to circulate in the joints and prevent arthritis from slowly developing.

You can perform the yoga at home with your child or have them take
classes. If you live in a reasonably-sized city, chances are good that yoga classes are being offered in your area. You may want to attend their first session to reassure them. Be sure that you first discuss your goals for your child with their instructor.

Encouragement
Many children are resistant to starting an exercise program at first. You might encourage them by rewarding them for meeting goals, such as weight loss. Or another great way to motivate them is by participating with them and making it a fun activity that the both of you can share together!

Carolyn is a 20-something year old with a passion for life, fitness and
overall well being. She is an avid cycler, golfer and has known to bust
some serious moves on the dance floor. Check out Carolyn’s blog!

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