Diabetes and Blood Sugar Control: A Little Goes a Long Way
When it comes to improving blood sugar in patients who have diabetes, a little goes a long way. And we are not talking about salad dressing. Improvements, even small ones in Hemoglobin A1c levels can help significantly reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular complications in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) measures the average blood sugar of an individual over the past 90 days. As little as a 0.5% decrease in HbA1c, coupled with a 10 point decrease in blood pressure could help you avert up to 10% of complications, for the next 5 years! If those levels change even more, then you can reduce your risk as much as 21%! If you were gambling, those are dramatic ways to increase your odds of winning.
Unfortunately, many of us gamble with our health a little bit recklessly. To increase your odds at winning even if you have a number of risk factors, such as high blood pressure, elevated HbA1c, or an overweight BMI (body mass index), try small changes to achieve the biggest benefit.
Small changes are more realistic to achieve and maintain than large changes. 2000 extra steps of walking a day (which is about 100 calories burned) and simple food substitutions like as replacing a 12-ounce regular soda with sparkling water, are undoubtedly doable and maintainable long-term. Even though these changes may be small, they pack a huge punch for your health.
You can do it
Small, successful lifestyle changes lead to increased self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is the belief that you are able and competent to achieve certain goals. If you tell yourself you can do it, and believe that you are able, you have a much greater chance in achieving small, attainable goals, and big ones, too.
For example, if you believe you can walk an extra 10 minutes each day, because of the person that you are, then you have a better chance of sticking with it. Once you’ve had success with this, then you can feel successful about other positive health goals that you meet in life.
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