Linda works full time, has three young children, and has zero time for the gym. So when she learned that she had prediabetes, she had to find creative ways to fit activity into her day.
“My trick is to not call it ‘exercise.’ Instead, I just look for ways to add small workouts to my day,” she says.
For example, after dinner she turns up the stereo and does dance moves while washing dishes, putting food away, and cleaning the kitchen.
“It takes about a half-hour and is a great workout,” she says. “My kids get a big kick out of it too.”
At work, she walks at lunch by herself or with a friend.
“Walking is great for me, because I don’t have to buy anything to do it, and it doesn’t take a lot of my time,” she says.
While watching TV, Linda uses small hand weights to do arm lifts during commercial breaks.
Every little bit helps
At 39, with a family history of type 2 diabetes, Linda says she should have watched her weight more carefully. She wasn’t too surprised by her prediabetes diagnosis. But she got motivated right away to do what she could about it.
“I watched my mom inject herself with insulin every day. Sometimes she needed my help,” Linda says. “She had the hardest time keeping her blood sugar down and figuring out what to eat. I don’t want to go down that road if I can avoid it.”
Linda uses the plate format to help her make healthy eating choices. She fills half of her plate with vegetables or adds a salad to go with lunch. One-quarter of her plate is a meat or meat substitute. The final quarter of her place is for breads, starches, or grains. She chooses whole grains as often as possible. She also enjoys a small piece of fruit and some low-fat or fat-free milk or yogurt.
“In general, I try to limit added sugar,” she says. “But you have to live a little. My motto is: Everything in moderation.”
This story is based on information gathered from many people living with prediabetes.
For more information, see the topic Prediabetes.