World Diabetes Day: Understanding the Sugar Epidemic
It’s the world’s sweetest day on earth, not because it’s my birthday, but because it is the day when the world takes a few moments to understand what diabetes is all about. Understanding and acknowledging that there is a sugar epidemic in Qatar can help many on their way to self-recovery and optimal health.
Let’s look at Qatar and what it is doing to mark this special day. The Qatar Diabetes Association organizes multiple events throughout the year celebrating and raising awareness on the issue of diabetes. On this special day, the association organizes a yearly walkathon to raise awareness.
This year’s Diabetes Walkathon is on Friday, 17th November 2017, at Qatar Foundation’s Oxygen Park. The gathering is at 2 pm and the walk starts at 3 pm for a total of 1 KM.
The Benefits of Going to The Walkathon
As we all know, the three most important aspects of maintaining health are diet, exercise, and mental stability. Being a diabetic isn’t any different. Actually, there are more benefits you can have when you focus on lowering your risk of high glucose levels or preventing diabetes as a whole.
Walking is one of the easiest exercises any person can do. It requires zero to no skill or equipment, you just need your will and a good pair of comfortable shoes. Before you do anything, remember, consult your doctor or a specialist.
Walking and exercise helps in:
- Strengthening muscles and bones
- Reducing risk of heart disease or stroke
- Lowering bad cholesterol levels
- Lowering blood sugar levels
- Raising good cholesterol levels
- Lowering stress levels
Doctors and trained health professionals recommend an average of 30 minutes per day, at least 5 times a week to maintain a rhythmical exercise routine.
Walking acts as a rhythm to match your heartbeat, it is slow enough to not be a heavy cardio, but it’s fast enough to make it an exercise that opens up your sinus, helps you sleep and breathe better, and keeps your heart and lungs some good internal exercising of their own.
So, how can you start walking or exercising?
Well, in my opinion and to many doctors, starting slow would be the best option. Make goals to where you would want to be in a week’s time, then in a month, then in a year. For example, you can aim for 500 steps a day and increase it in the next week by another 100. Smart phones, watches, and Fitbits now can help you achieve that. Or, you can start even slower by:
- Doing some walking around the house or neighborhood for at least 30 minutes
- Walking to lunch from work or parking further away
- Take the stairs whenever possible instead of the elevator
- If you find yourself on an escalator, try walking up instead of just standing there
- Walk your dog or take yourself out for a stroll
- Walk with friends – this would make it easier to keep the set timing
- Try a dance or aerobics class
Of course, as always, check with your doctor which is the best exercise for you and your health condition.
Make sure that you understand that joining a walkathon doesn’t mean that you supported or understood what it means to have diabetes. Talk to people about symptoms you might be feeling, or talk to them about how they keep their blood sugar levels in check.
The final tip: All doctors recommend that you drink plenty of water, especially while exercising. Water has no calories, and no disadvantages to your health. Make sure that you are always hydrated and make sure those around you are too!