Did you ever ask yourself when was the last time you went to a gym or to the nearest sports complex nearest to your house for a jog? Or when was the last time you use the exercise equipment you bought online? Or when was the last time you sweat out for you to be physically healthy?
Procrastination and “ningas kugon” are not new for us humans especially in achieving and maintaining the body figure we always dream for. And not everyone is aware that aside from it is hereditary and eating too many sweets, physical inactivity is one of the risk factors of diabetes.
It is also undeniable that Filipinos have that extreme love for food with rice as the nation’s basic food. We are fond of holding celebrations at fiestas, baptisms, weddings, and different holidays in which food indulgence is a crucial part. We also have the best fatty, risky exotic foods such as lechon, sisig, street foods, liver and other organ meat, the best condiments such as bagoong, patis and other menu. Also we have the best and sweetest native delicacies and cakes – puto, palitaw, biko, and bibingka, among many others. The Philippines is also one of the most free countries where people are allowed to indulge in vices such as alcohols and cigarettes which are practically available in every nook and corner of a town and even at the most rural areas of the country. Under these premises, it is no wonder that the number of diabetics in the country will soar in the next years to come.
Every 10 seconds, one person dies due to diabetes-related complications. Diabetes is now the biggest single cause of amputation, stroke, blindness and end-stage kidney failure. More than half of all deaths from diabetes result from cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke.
Each year, almost four million deaths are attributable to diabetes. An even greater number die from cardiovascular disease made worse by diabetes-related lipid disorders and hypertension.
A 2008 survey alarmingly concluded that one out of every five Filipinos have diabetes. That means that around 20% of the population have diabetes and this has significantly increased from 4% in 1998.
Another cause for alarm is that Filipinos diagnosed with diabetes are getting younger. Children as young as five years old have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. With this trend, the Philippines is expected to belong in the top 10 countries with the most people with diabetes in the next few years.
How physical activity can help in the prevention of diabetes?
Physical activity and keeping a healthy weight can help in the prevention of diabetes. Physical activity helps the blood glucose or the blood sugar stay in the target range.
Physical activity also helps the hormone insulin absorb glucose into all the body’s cells, including the muscles, for energy. Muscles use glucose better than fat does. Building and using muscle through physical activity can help prevent high blood glucose. If the body does not make enough insulin, or if the insulin does not work the way it should, the body’s cells do not use glucose. The blood glucose levels then get too high, causing diabetes.
Starting a physical activity program can help in losing and maintaining a healthy weight that will keep the blood glucose levels on target. Even without reaching a healthy weight, just a 10 or 15 pound weight loss makes a difference in reducing the risk of diabetes problems.