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Diabetes Awareness Month 2011
Defeat Diabetes Foundation has developed an online calendar of events for Diabetes Awareness Month. It links you to articles, downloads, tools, puzzles and games, nutrition tips, healthy recipes and more.
Bookmark this page - you will want to come back often!
Defeat Diabetes Foundation (DDF) is on a mission to save children and their families from the pain of diabetes. The first step in our campaign to Defeat Diabetes® is creating awareness of the risk factors, warning signs, its high financial costs and many complications.
The second step is to arm individuals with information to make the right lifestyle choices to insure their health and well being each and every day for themselves, their family and their community.
The final step is acting on that knowledge and taking a personal pledge to prevent diabetes in your own family.
Fortunately, DDF is there to provide over 5000 pages of information about diabetes, including information on self management, resources in your community and much more.
A major part of our effort to Defeat Diabetes® is in the area of prevention. Doing the following 4 things can reduce your risk of developing the disease by as much as 55%!
• Eat 5 - 9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily
• Eat 3 servings of whole grains daily
• Get 30 - 60 minutes of physical activity 5 times a week
• If you are overweight, lose 5% of your body weight (for most folks that is only 10 - 20 pounds)
Likewise, many of the things you need to do to prevent diabetes are also effective for the management of the disease and its various conditions.
Below is a calendar of events to take you through the month. The links take you to articles, downloads, tools, puzzles and games, flashcards at the DDF site, as well as some links to other sites with interesting information.
Each day review the activities for that day and click the links to get more information or to complete the activity.
Day 1 - Commit to taking Defeat Diabetes® Challenges by participating in the full month of activities. Take the pledge and post it on your refrigerator as a reminder. Be sure to invite family and friends to participate in the challenge.
If you don’t have diabetes, Take the Screening Test to determine your risk for developing diabetes.
Take the Stairs Tuesday - Walking up and down the stairs is good cardiovascular exercise, that's why so many gyms have Stairmaster machines. So, every Tuesday, make it a habit to bypass the elevator and take the stairs in as many places as you can. Be sure to add a few extra minutes in case you have to take it slow.
Day 2 - The word exercise has become a “dirty word” wrapped with negative connotations and a chore to be avoided at all costs. For people with diabetes and those at risk for developing diabetes, regular physical activity is crucial for long term good health. So, it’s important to figure out ways to incorporate regular physical activity into your daily routine.
A new study suggests many parents overestimate the amount of physical activity their kids are getting. Have your family start logging their daily physical activity. You might be surprised at what you discover. The log will give you a baseline to start from so you can track improvements.
Try a Whole Grain Wednesday - The recently released USDA Dietary Guidelines encourage Americans to eat three servings of whole grains each day. Whole grains are essentially living seeds with the potential to sprout and grow. Check out some different whole grains. Switch things up a bit this week and substitute Brown Rice for white rice in your dishes or instead of a potato or pasta. Brown rice is versatile and has a slightly "toothier" texture than white rice.
Day 3 – Walk From the Back of the Parking Lot Thursday - Did you know most of our errands are less than a mile from home? And the average city block is only 1/10th of a mile? If you must drive to conduct your errands, at least park in the back of the lot. Even 5 - 10 minute bursts of activity add up!
While you are walking from the back of the parking lot be sure to Practice Proper Breathing. Breathing properly ALL of the time, not just when exercising, is a critical component to get the most out of physical activity and life. Oxygen is the most important element needed to sustain life and breathing is the only way to get it.
Tension, poor posture, smoking and poor breathing habits can cause insufficient oxygen intake. Deep and relaxed breathing delivers oxygen to all cells and facilitates efficient clearing of carbon dioxide.
Take a long deep breath in through your nose making a special effort to fill your lungs from the bottom to the top. This, when done correctly, will push out your belly. The process is similar to blowing up a balloon. Pause briefly (1 – 3 seconds). Exhale slowly through your mouth. Make sure the inward and outward breaths take the same length of time. Continue to breathe in this fashion for several minutes. Repeat several times daily. You can do it anywhere: on the bus or train, in the car, at your desk or even walking down the street!
According to "Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General," the relationship between type 1 and type 2 diabetes and periodontal disease is often referred to as the "sixth complication" of the disease. Diabetics are more prone to several oral health conditions, including tooth decay, periodontal (gum) disease, dry mouth, infection and tooth loss.
Sweet Potato – includes a few great recipes too! Sweet Potato Flashcard – Print it out, share it with the family, quiz the kids!
Defeat Diabetes Foundation recommends that individuals with diabetes and those at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes have a regular HbA1c test performed by their doctor.
The HbA1c, or A1c test, measures the amount of glycated hemoglobin present in your dlood During the 120-day life span of a red blood cell. Read more about the A1c and then ask your doctor to perform the test if they haven’t.
Diabetes Puzzles – Test your knowledge of diabetes and management techniques with these Crossword, Word Search and Word Jumble puzzles
Day 5 – Take the weekend and enjoy the last of the good fall weather. Go on a hayride, visit a pumpkin patch, a corn maze, and orchard or cider mill. Bundle up, if necessary and enjoy some outdoor time with the family.
Corn mazes are huge outdoor play areas cut through corn fields. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes, outdoor play clothing and bring the whole family for some fun.
Corn Mazes America
Hayrides are a pleasure ride in an open truck, wagon or sleigh which has been decorated with hay or straw and similar farm life paraphernalia. There is a link below but you can also do an Internet search in your region.
Day 6 - An Outdoor Scavenger Hunt is a great way to explore the great outdoors, spend some time with family and friends, and get some exercise and sunshine. Whether it’s a city, county, state or national park; the beach; a local river or even the local playground – it’s an opportunity to get more in touch with the world around you. Here is a list of items to scavenge.
Day 7 - Family Dinners Matter - Idealized in the 1950's, the family dinner used to be an important ritual in our daily lives. This important ritual can and should be a part of your family routine. Learn why.
Try a New Fruit Monday - A persimmon is the edible fruit of a number of species of trees in the ebony wood family. Even though persimmons are associated with Asia, persimmons are also native to the Americas. When the settlers first arrived at Jamestown they were introduced to persimmons!
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Day 8 – Take the Stairs Tuesday - Take the stairs at every opportunity. Instead of taking the elevator, commit to taking the first two flights by stairs. Instead of walking to a building using the gradually sloping walkway, use the stairs.
People with diabetes face many challenges staying healthy and heart health is no exception. Having diabetes puts you at much greater risk for heart disease and heart attacks. 2 out of 3 people with diabetes will actually die from stroke or heart disease. Learn More
Day 9 - Try a Legume Day -- What are legumes? You might already have a few favorites. They make an economical and nutritious alternative to meat.
A recent study concluded that for every hour of screen time (TV, video games and computer) you shorten your life by 22 minutes. Ironically, the average one hour television show has between 16 – 22 minutes of commercials. So, if you are watching TV, grab a few of those minutes back by adding some activity during commercial breaks. During a one hour TV show you can squeeze in a lot of physical activity. You can: run in place, jump rope, do crunches, jumping jacks, squats or push-ups.
Day 10 - Walk from the back of the parking lot Thursday - Every little bit of physical activity helps. Think about walking from the back of the lot every day.
Islets of Humor™ Cartoon - A Walk a Day Keeps the Diabetes Away
Day 11 – New Veggie Friday – Cauliflower is a member of the cabbage family, but don’t hold that against this great fall vegetable. Available in white, purple, orange and green varieties – be sure to try them all!
Dancing is a great way for people of all ages to get and stay in shape. Experts agree that dancing is a true sport and a valid form of exercise. Dancing uses, virtually, all of your body’s muscles: feet, calves, thighs, upper and lower back, abdominals, shoulders, neck and even arms get a workout while dancing.
Shy? Turn on the music and dance when no one is looking!
Islets of Humor™ cartoon – Salsa and Chips
Day 12 - Get Outdoors! Nature Rocks is a great way to plan outdoor adventures for the whole family, sorts by zip code, child's age level, time commitment and more.
Islets of Humor™ Cartoon - Good Fat Avocado
Day 13 - Try a New Physical Activity - There are literally hundreds of physical activities and sports that individuals can participate in - no matter how large or small the community. This Sunday try something you haven’t done before or revisit something that you’ve tried in the past. Possibilities include bowling, going to the batting cage, disc golf or Frisbee, kayaking for more ideas.
No one to be physically active with? How about jumping rope? It isn’t just for kids and you can do it alone. Jumping rope helps develop agility, coordination, balance and body awareness. Plus, it improves cardiovascular and muscular endurance.
Day 14 – World Diabetes Day is observed in 160 countries. It marks the birthday of Frederick Banting who, along with Charles Best, first conceived the idea which led to the discovery of insulin in 1922.
Today at 2:00 pm (local time) participate in the BIG BLUE TEST
Meatless Mondays - Going meatless, even once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also reduce your carbon footprint, conserve fresh water, fossil fuel and save you oodles of money too.
New Fruit Monday – Cranberries are not just for Thanksgiving! One of America’s native fruits, they were used extensively by the indigenous people. Cranberries, because of their high level of antioxidants have been named a “super fruit.” Fresh cranberries are plentiful right now so grab a few extra bags and freeze them for later use.
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Day 15 – Take the Stairs Tuesday - There are 1440 minutes in every day. Spend just 30 of those minutes being physically active. Thirty minutes is 2% of the day. Taking the stairs regularly is an easy way to incorporate physical activity into your everyday routine. Be inefficient to lose weight.
Islets of Humor™ Cartoon Turkey
Get the history of diabetes in a nutshell with a diabetes timeline.
Day 16 - Most of us spend far too much time at desks. But, just because we’ve become office dwellers doesn’t mean we can’t squeeze some physical activity in at our desks. Start adding a few to your routine each day. Exercises to do at your desk.
Try a New Whole Grain Day - Amaranth, is it a grain? Vegetable? Flower? Or all three? Gluten free too!
Ways to Add Whole Grains to Your Diet
Day 17 - Walk From the Back of the Parking Lot Thursday. If you are shopping forego the cart if you can, this will add a little weight to your workout, which is good for your bones.
People with diabetes are at risk of losing one of the most precious of their senses: sight. “People unnecessarily lose their vision yearly because of diabetes complications that can often be prevented through early detection and timely treatment,” said Robert Layman, O.D. and Chair of the American Optometric Association’s Diabetes Eye Care Project Team. Learn how to protect your vision.
Islets of Humor™ Cartoon – Three Blind Mice
Day 18 – New Veggie Friday – Beets are fat and cholesterol free, a good source of vitamins B and C and a very good source of calcium, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, potassium and phosphorous. Beets also contain a combination of phytonutrients including betalain pigments which are unique, to beets.
Here’s some ways to add fruits and veggies to every meal and snack of the day!
Islets of Humor™ Cartoon – Wine and Antioxidants
Day 19 – Pet Diabetes Awareness Month – Cats and dogs are vulnerable to developing diabetes too. Learn the warning signs and how to help your pet.
Day 20 - Archery, in one form or another, has been around for somewhere between 10,000 – 40,000 years (probably longer). Archery was an important military and hunting skill. Today archery enjoys recognition worldwide as a team and individual sport.
Day 21 – This week begins the winter holiday season with all its stresses and joys. Here are some tips to help you survive the holidays.
Try a New Fruit Monday - Locked inside the rough leathery exterior of the pomegranate is one of the most wonderful and bright flavors among all fruits. Each pomegranate contains hundreds of arils (juice sacs) that are brimming with antioxidants – a perfect bright taste for the holidays.
Day 22 – Take the Stairs Tuesday - Stop at the top, while holding onto the handrail, place your toes at the edge of the steps and lower your heels. This is a great stretching exercise. Speaking of stretching… To stretch or not to stretch?
From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day people with diabetes are facing a bumpy road filled with cookies, fudge, latkes, eggnog, roast beef and bouts on the couch watching football. Get some practical tips for handling Temptation, Jealousy and Guilt
Day 23 - Destressing - Recent studies conducted by Carnegie Mellon University have concluded that stress can cause ill health when it is chronic. The signs of stress will not only show up in your body as physical symptoms such as more frequent colds, injuries, relationship problems, depression, insomnia and more. Earlier studies from other sources indicated that as much as 75% of doctors visits are related to stress. Read some tips for controlling stress.
Try a New Whole Grain – Millet - Most of us are familiar with millet, though they might not associate it as people food. Millet is most often seen as the main ingredient in bird seed –though, millet is not just "for the birds."
Day 24 - Portion Control - Portion size is one area where we go wrong when making eating choices. Part of the reason for that is we eat nearly 75% of our meals outside the home. When it comes to restaurants, food is the item with the lowest overhead. So, restaurants have got us used to overly generous portions to keep us coming back.
Take a Walk – Have some spare time before Thanksgiving dinner? Take a walk! Walking is one of the easiest forms of exercise. All you need is a good pair of shoes, comfortable clothing and the ability to open the front door! Instead of taking a nap or watching football after dinner, take a walk.
Looking for a special place to walk? Here's a few links: Traildino - largest database of trails in the world by continent, country and region. Trailink has information on more than 30,000 miles of bike trails, walking trails, equestrian trails, and hiking and running trails, including interactive trail maps, trail descriptions, pictures and more.
Islets of Humor™ Cartoon – Thankful
Day 25 - Walk From the Back of the Parking Lot – Going shopping to take advantage of holiday sales? Be sure to walk from the back of the lot. Today you’ll get a spot quicker and save gas not circling for a spot near the store entrance.
Try a New Veggie Friday – Parsnips an often ignored, yet delightful, root vegetable related to the carrot. Parsnips are starting to make a culinary comeback due to a new generation of chefs and the parsnips amazing versatility.
Are you interested in trying out other Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables? Visit our What’s in Season page for other ideas.
Day 26 – Visit a Christmas Tree Farm and choose your tree, go for a sleigh ride or participate in another winter seasonal event. Pick Your Own Christmas Tree or Pick Your Own
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Day 27 - Don't hibernate until spring! Take advantage of the cold and snow, embrace your adventurous spirit, and learn an outdoor cold weather sport. Winter sports are a great way to keep active during those cold winter months. Don’t wait, check out some winter sports now.
Day 28 - Walk, bike or take mass transit to work. Many of us live within a short distance of where we work. People who take mass transit to work are considered active because most commutes also require a walk from the home to the transit stop and office.
Try a New Fruit Monday – Dates, the kind you eat, are super sweet and delicious. Dates are less than 30 percent moisture; making them Nature’s only naturally dry fruit.
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Day 29 – Take the Stairs Tuesday – Today, add a little more of challenge by doing every other flight double time!
Now that you’ve given your feet a good work out learn how to take care of them.
Day 30 - Defeat Diabetes Foundation is a non-profit 501(C)(3) charity dedicated to creating awareness about and preventing diabetes. If you have found any of the information we’ve provided to you this month valuable please take the time to make a donation so that we can continue our work to Defeat Diabetes®.
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Update October 28, 2011
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