The following is from my latest article for the Lincoln Journal Star.
Despite medical advances in recent years in preventing diabetes, a just-released study shows that the number of people suffering from this disease worldwide has more than doubled in the past 30 years.
This research demonstrates that currently 347 million people around the world have this invasive and often debilitating sickness, which can lead to heart disease, stroke and even premature death, especially in people who have other risk factors such as obesity.
These alarming findings should strike a chord among Americans, because the incidence of diabetes in the United States is increasing twice as fast as in Western Europe, says Matt Scott, a personal trainer at Husker Fitness in Lincoln.
"Official figures show that nearly 26 million people in this country have diabetes, and that number could triple in the next 40 years," Scott says. "That's why it is so important to not only treat this disease but also help prevent its onset. And one of the steps should be weight loss and management."
Studies have indicated that obesity and inactivity are primary causes of type 2 diabetes: 67 percent of people diagnosed with this disease in the United States are overweight and 46 percent are obese.
A sensible diet, along with a regular fitness program, will be beneficial in fighting obesity and, consequently, the risk of developing diabetes, Scott notes.
"Exercise will help control the weight and lower the blood sugar level," he says. "And by improving insulin resistance, blood pressure, as well as cholesterol and glucose levels, it will also reduce the risk of heart disease, which is common in diabetics."
What kind of workout will help bring diabetes under control in the most effective way?
"Research shows that any regular physical activity that raises the heart rate for an extended period of time will be beneficial," Scott says, adding that diabetics should get their doctor's permission before starting a diet or an exercise program.
He also notes that strength training has been proven effective in weight loss because it lowers body fat, increases lean muscle and burns calories more efficiently.
Still not sure how to work out safely and effectively? "A personal trainer can show you exercises that take into account your specific needs and goals," Scott says.
I am certified Personal Trainer. In 2010, my wife Kristy Founded the American Health and Fitness Institute to raise awareness for childhood obesity. I am also a frequent contributor to the Lincoln Journal Star Health section, you can see some his articles at www.starcityhealth.com and I appear regularly as a fitness expert on Lincoln TV channel 10/11.