New Year, Fresh Start: Controlling Diabetes with Diet and Exercise

According to government statistics, the incidence of diabetes has increased in tandem with excess weight and obesity in essentially all age groups and ethnicities across the U.S. – and not by coincidence. Medical research studies have consistently demonstrated strong relationships between excess weight and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia.

The Diet and Exercise Solution

Kathleen Meehan MD, Medical Director at Williamsburg Landing in Williamsburg, VA, says, “Fortunately, there are effective ways today of controlling and even preventing diabetes. Experts at the National Institutes of Health the Mayo Clinic and the American Diabetes Association assert that it all starts with diet and exercise.

“Good nutrition and well-balanced meals are an essential part of taking better care of yourself and controlling your diabetes. Physical activity is also extremely important for people with diabetes and those at risk for diabetes. Balancing what you eat with regular physical activity is key to controlling diabetes and preventing other health problems.

“Today, leading senior living communities such as beautiful Williamsburg Landing provide a variety of dietary and wellness programs that are designed expressly to keep you properly nourished, fit and healthy in mind, body and spirit. We believe in caring for the whole person and keeping you active, well and fully engaged in every aspect of life.”

The Importance of a Healthy and Balanced Diet

Although diabetes cannot be cured today, it can be controlled. Medical experts advise that managing blood glucose (blood sugar) as well as blood pressure and cholesterol is the best defense against the serious complications of diabetes.

People with type 1 diabetes control their blood sugar with insulin – delivered by either injection or a pump. However, many people with type 2 diabetes can manage their blood glucose levels with diet and exercise alone.

Choose Healthy Foods

Making healthy food choices is very important in keeping your blood glucose level under control. People with diabetes do not normally need to buy or prepare special foods. The foods that are best for someone with diabetes are also said to be excellent choices for everyone.

These include foods that are:

  • Low in Fat
  • Low in Salt
  • Low in Sugar
  • High in Fiber – such as beans, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

These foods help you reach and stay at a weight that's good for your body, while also keeping your blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol in your target range. Importantly, they also serve to prevent or delay cardiovascular disease.

The Value of Regular Physical Activity

Aerobic activity and strength training are considered particularly effective forms of exercise. Experts recommend 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity aerobic exercise at least five days a week or a total of 150 minutes per week. However, they caution that if you haven't exercised lately, begin slowly. 

Various types of strength training make your body more sensitive to insulin and can lower blood glucose levels. Strength training also helps maintain and build strong muscles and bones, reducing your risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures.

Recommended exercise activities for controlling diabetes include:

  • Brisk walking (outside or inside on a treadmill)
  • Bicycling/stationary cycling indoors
  • Dancing and low-impact aerobics
  • Swimming or water aerobics
  • Playing tennis
  • Jogging/running and stair climbing
  • Hiking  
  • Weight machines or free weights at the gym
  • Using resistance bands
  • Lifting light weights or objects like canned goods or water bottles at home

Keeping You Healthy, Active and Fit … for LIFE! 

Adds Ms. Meehan, “Every day at Williamsburg Landing is brimming with services and activities that enable you to be well, stay well and enjoy the life you love.

“Here, you’ll find nutritious, deliciously prepared meals and dining services that are highly flexible and responsive. Meals are customized to meet individual dietary needs or allergies with full nutrition information available on all menu items. We offer gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, vegan and other options that are sensitive to your needs.

“We also help you to get in shape, maintain your health or improve your overall wellness. From walking trails and tennis courts to our 25,000 sq. ft., state-of-the-art health club and spa, we have elevated the art of healthy living to new heights.” 

Welcome to Williamsburg Landing

Looking for a vibrant, engaging and fulfilling way of life? If so, you’ll find it at Williamsburg Landing.

Nestled on 137 wooded acres along the serene banks of College Creek in Williamsburg, Va., Williamsburg Landing is the premier, not-for-profit Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) serving Williamsburg and its surrounding areas since 1985. With one visit, you’ll understand what makes Williamsburg Landing so special.

Williamsburg Landing is an ideal blend of beautiful landscaping and elegant, Colonial architecture. It invites residents to become part of its vibrant, active lifestyle and rest-assured in its award-winning medical care. It eases worries with maintenance-free homes and apartments with resort-style amenities and services. The community thrives with energetic, involved and friendly people who love to live here and the warmth of dedicated, committed professionals who love to work here.

With a past rich in tradition and a future filled with promise, Williamsburg Landing is the perfect place to call home – for today and tomorrow.

To learn more or schedule a tour, please contact us today!