What Exactly Is Diabetes?

What Exactly Is Diabetes?

November 1st marks the start of American Diabetes Month, which draws nationwide attention to a disease that affects far too many. According to the Centers for Disease Control (the CDC), “more than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes.”1 What may even be more alarming is the fact that “one in four people with diabetes [doesn’t even] know he or she has it.” 2 This opens the door to many questions: Why is this? What is diabetes? What can we do to help prevent it?

Diabetes: A Deeper Look

If you feel like diabetes isn’t a health issue you have to worry about, you may be incorrect. More than 1 in 3 U.S. adults are considered prediabetic.3 That equates to roughly 86 million American adults. When you consider the fact that 29 million have already been diagnosed, and 86 million are on the borderline, that’s about 115 million Americans that are struggling with blood sugar levels. However, the diabetes epidemic isn’t just confined to the U.S. About 11 million Canadians are living with the disease or are considered pre-diabetic.4

 

The American Diabetes Association shares some common diabetes symptoms5:

  • Urinating often
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Feeling very hungry – even though you are eating
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
  • Weight loss – even though you are eating more (type 1)
  • Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (type 2)

 

If you notice yourself experiencing any of these symptoms, or you have an increased risk of diabetes due to family history, consult your doctor or local physician. It never hurts to be proactive and get tested. In fact, the earlier you recognize the signs, the sooner you can begin making healthy changes, which may help save your life.

Type 1 vs. Type 2 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes, previously known as juvenile diabetes, typically affects children and young adults and continues into adulthood. This type of diabetes affects the body’s ability to produce insulin, and insulin is necessary to help get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. Insulin therapy can help with this.

Type 2 diabetes is when the body causes blood sugar levels to rise higher than normal. This is also known as hyperglycemia. This is the most common form of diabetes. If you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the body struggles with insulin resistance. While the pancreas attempts to make extra insulin to make up for it, over time it is unable to keep up, and the body’s insulin levels can’t keep the blood glucose at normal levels.

It’s Not Too Late

The good news is diabetes is not the end all – though that’s not to say it shouldn’t be taken seriously. Diabetes can be managed through a healthy change in diet, physical activity, and the use of medications that help regulate and lower blood sugar levels. If you are diabetic or were recently diagnosed with diabetes and want more information after consulting with your physician, check out the extremely helpful Food & Fitness tips shared by the American Diabetes Association. You may also want to look into investing into a CGM (continuous glucose monitor), FDA approved, which tracks your blood sugar levels both day and night. Readings are collected every 5 to 15 minutes and the device helps you stay up-to-date on your blood sugar levels. The data collected can better help its users manage their condition. Some monitors still require a finger stick to help the monitor stay accurate. The best way to find what’s right for you is to consult your doctor or physician.

How Physical Activity Helps

Exercise of any form helps reduce your risk for diabetes, and can help reduce symptoms in those who already have it. That’s right, exercise of any form! The key is movement. Keep your body moving. Staying active helps burn calories and keeps the body feeling good. No, you don’t have to run a marathon, or climb to the top of Mount Hood in Oregon (but hey, those could be future goals) — start with little exercises you enjoy. Do you not really enjoy the thought of exercising? Well, did you know that taking the dog for a walk counts? Walking through the mall counts, pushing your child on the swing counts, and even household chores like painting a room, or raking the leaves counts!

If you feel like stepping up your physical fitness game, try an aerobics class.* LA Fitness offers plenty of Group Fitness classes, all varying in exercises types, some of which cover cardio, while others work on strength training – some even cover both! Find a class that fits you and your personality here. A quick reminder you may find helpful is this: You’re not in this alone. Have friends and family join you at the gym. Establish a network that is going to help positively influence your life. Fitness starts with you, but can spread like wildfire among those you associate with.

You can take steps to take control of your health. Never forget that.

Feel like committing today to a new and healthy life? Share it with our community, here! Who knows, you could be the next LA Fitness Member Spotlight success story. We believe in you, now are you ready to believe in yourself?

*Class offerings vary by facility.

 

Sources:

  1. “Diabetes Latest.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17 June 2014, www.cdc.gov/features/diabetesfactsheet/.
  2. Ibid
  3. Ibid
  4. “About Diabetes.” Canadian Diabetes Association, www.diabetes.ca/about-diabetes.
  5. “Diabetes Symptoms.” American Diabetes Association, www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/symptoms/?loc=db-slabnav.

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QUIZ: How Well Do You Know Your LA Fitness?

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ASK A TRAINER: Ep. 11 – How Do I Regain Motivation?

ASK A TRAINER: Ep. 11 – How Do I Regain Motivation?

Ask A Trainer: Featured Question of the Week

LA Fitness Pro Results® Master Trainer, Geoff F., helps explain some helpful ways to regain motivation. Here’s a quick tip: set short-term and long-term goals! Check out other tips below.

Do you have a fitness question? Ask one of our certified Pro Results® trainers here! Your question may be featured in an upcoming Ask Our Trainer video.**

8 + 1 =

**Selected submissions will be featured on the LA Fitness blog and possibly other LA Fitness digital media entities & websites. By making a submission, you hereby grant LA Fitness a non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide, irrevocable license to use and make copies of the contents of such submission for any purpose and in any medium whatsoever, and you hereby waive and relinquish any copyright or other intellectual property right you may have in the contents of such submission and your right to pursue any claim for LA Fitness’s violation of those intellectual property rights.


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This One Object From Childhood Will Help You Lose Weight!

This One Object From Childhood Will Help You Lose Weight!

Flash back to the days of childhood – the laughing, the running, the singing and most of all – the jumping. It seems like as children we have an endless supply of energy, and it’s probably why the jump rope was such a popular toy at recess. However, did you know that jumping rope acts as a great way to exercise? Yes, that childhood toy can actually be used as exercise equipment. In fact, more calories can be burned in shorter time increments while jumping rope as compared to other cardio options.1

When done properly, jumping rope can be a lower impact activity than jogging. How is this possible? Well, the key is to stay “high on the toes”2, according to Roger Crozier, who coaches a competitive jump rope team. Carrying a jump rope around with you can be a great addition to a workout at LA Fitness, or when you’re not in close proximity to a LA Fitness club. When choosing the type of jump rope to buy, go for beaded or plastic ropes. They tend to be more durable than cotton ones and move through the air faster, allowing a more intense workout.

The How-To

Before getting started with your cardio jump rope routine, make sure to measure your rope to ensure that it properly fits the height of your body. You can do this by following these easy steps:

  1. Stand on the middle of the jump rope.
  2. Measure the handles to your armpits.
  3. If they extend past your armpits, cut and adjust as necessary. If they don’t reach armpit height, you will need a longer rope.
  4. Then start jumping! (Just don’t forget to land on the balls of your feet.)

 

Once you feel comfortable with a regular jump rope routine, there are plenty of fun challenges you can try to help up your game. Some fun variations to try, while increasing difficulty, would be the following:

  • Single Leg Hop. Alternate between hopping on one leg, then switch and do the same amount of jump rope repetitions on the other.
  • Another way to get that feel-good burn is to try High Knees, which will help your hip flexors.
  • Not a fan of the high knees? Try “Butt-Kicks”, where your heel lifts back to kick your buttock, working your hamstrings.

Keep it fun, but make it challenging, for a rewarding cardio workout.

Curious about what other fitness methods are both fun and rewarding for your body? Why not submit a question to Ask A Trainer or ask a trainer* at a club? One of our certified Pro Results® trainers can help answer all your tough fitness questions. Your question may even be featured in an upcoming Ask Our Trainer video!

*Pro Results® Personal Training is subject to a separate agreement and an additional fee.

Sources:

  1. Skarnulis, Leanna. “Skipping Rope Doesn’t Skip Workout.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/skipping-rope-doesnt-skip-workout#1.
  2. Skarnulis, Leanna. “Skipping Rope Doesn’t Skip Workout.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/skipping-rope-doesnt-skip-workout#2.

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Racquetball Recap – Finals at Crossroads

Racquetball Recap – Finals at Crossroads

Who said fitness can’t be fun? Finding the right physical activity for you can make a world of difference. Did you know LA Fitness offers Club Leagues on top of Group Fitness classes? This means finding the right workout for you may simply be a matter of sampling all the club has to offer before finding where you fit in. For those of you who enjoy some friendly competition, consider signing up for Club Leagues racquetball. What makes the leagues so great is that they are broken down into different levels, allowing members of all skill sets to play in a fun and well-structured format.

The easiest way to sign up for a league is at the front desk of your local club, or you can sign up for a league online here!

 

At the most recent racquetball Club League finals, at the Irvine Crossroads location, we spoke with the eight finalists who were competing for the sought-after title of Racquetball Champion. Four teams of two were matched against one another, playing best 2 out of 3. Whomever obtained a score of 11 first then moved on to the next round, until it was down to the final two: Rajesh vs. Ashish. Both men were neck-at-neck, sweat-laden, and refused to go down without a fight. Three rounds of well-played racquetball later, Ashish was victorious!

Ashish was first introduced to Club Leagues racquetball when he witnessed others playing at his LA Fitness. At the time, he was studying abroad for his Masters degree and was looking for ways to stay active and socialize. Ashish shared, “I got involved playing racquetball watching others play in LA Fitness. It’s [a] fast sport, which got me into [the] game. Joining the LA Fitness league definitely boosted my racquetball game.” Now, about five years later from when he first started competing, Ashish is a racquetball champion – way to go!

Participation in Club Leagues requires the payment of an additional fee. League availability and amenities vary by club.


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