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American Diabetes Alert Day
Thirty-five years ago, The American Diabetes Association (ADA) established “Alert Day” to educate and build awareness around this serious health condition. Diabetes affects millions of Americans each year. American Diabetes Association Alert Day is observed annually on the fourth Tuesday in March. This one-day “wake-up call” informs the American public about the seriousness of diabetes and encourages all to take the diabetes risk test and learn about your family's history of diabetes.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a long-lasting health condition that affects how your body turns food into energy. Food is broken down into sugar called glucose, which is then released into the bloodstream to supply the body with energy. When blood sugar rises, it signals the pancreas to release insulin, and insulin assists the glucose to penetrate the cells and supply energy for bodily functions.
Individuals affected with diabetes do not produce enough insulin or cannot use their body’s insulin production normally. Therefore, if excessive sugar stays in the bloodstream, over time this can lead to serious health issues, such as heart disease, kidney disease, vascular disease, and loss of vision.
Types of Diabetes
Two types of diabetes exist.
Type 1 diabetes, generally affecting juveniles, can be managed with insulin injections. It requires frequent monitoring of blood sugar with a healthy diet and exercise to keep it controlled. Generally, it requires some form of insulin to control the illness.
Individuals suffering from Type 2 diabetes can generally prevent the disease by making healthy food and lifestyle choices. Exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, and eating a high fiber diet, are the most beneficial ways to prevent complications of the disease.
Education is Power
Although there is not yet a cure for diabetes, education, lifestyle modification and visits to a primary care physician can help avoid the complication of diabetes.
The designated day of observance for diabetic education encourages everyone to learn more about this disease and assist individuals or their loved ones to prevent the complications of diabetes. According to the ADA there are 7.3 million individuals, 1 in 7 adults, who do not know they have diabetes. Awareness is the first step in combating diabetes mellitus.
Can You Dance with Diabetes?
"Any form of dance may help to reduce insulin resistance and improve blood glucose management,” says Rachel Portnof, RD, of To The Pointe Nutrition. “In addition, dance elevates mood and energy levels.” The benefits of dance extend far beyond enhancing daily diabetes self-care. Dance counts as weight-bearing exercise, which may also build muscle strength and bone density.
Precautions in Dance Therapy for Diabetics
There is no debate around the importance of exercise for diabetes control. However, any form of physical activity, including dance, must be undertaken with certain precautions. Important considerations include:
1. Instructor support: The dance instructor must always be informed of the condition and related issues. This will help them suggest the right form and set the most appropriate pace.
2. Foot care: The feet must always be protected with the right footwear to avoid blisters and wounds. The right footwear prevents injuring your joints while doing a high-intensity activity like dancing.
3. Suitable pace: It is advised to take things slow. Being cautious is important in preventing hypoglycemia and other problems.
4. Prepare: Every dance session must begin with a proper warm-up and end with a cool-down session. This can protect against injury and help the body prepare better.
5. Supplement with medication: Dance may work wonders in managing diabetes, but it is not the cure. All medication must be taken as prescribed at regular times in conjunction with dance therapy.
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.