Be Healthier in 2017

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Resolve to Take Steps to a Healthier You in 2017

ANN ARBOR, MICH.—(January 4, 2017)— January is the start of a new year, and a time when many people make New Year’s resolutions to be healthier. Maintaining a healthy weight, staying active, and quitting smoking can help reduce your risk for a number of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, the leading cause of kidney failure. Living with diabetes or risk factors for type 2 diabetes is not easy. It’s common to feel overwhelmed, sad, or angry when you have to make lifestyle changes to stay healthy. You may know what to do to improve your health, but figuring out how to do it can be a challenge.

The National Kidney Foundation of Michigan (NKFM) is here to educate and encourage individuals to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and related complications and also help those with diabetes to manage their condition. In Michigan, it is estimated that 10.4 percent—or 799,350 of adults—have been diagnosed with diabetes, and 250,000 Michigan adults are thought to have undiagnosed diabetes. In addition, an estimated 35% of the U.S. adult population, age 20 and older, have prediabetes. People with prediabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and are at higher risk of heart disease and stroke.

Research shows that people with prediabetes and those at high risk could significantly reduce their risk of diabetes by making modest lifestyle changes–lose 5-7% body weight and be physically active at least 150 minutes a week (at least 5 days, 30 minutes of moderate physical activity). Some other risk factors for diabetes are: being over overweight or obese, not physically active, older than 45 years, having a family history or a history of gestational diabetes.

Here are some simple steps for eating healthier and exercising more to get started on your resolutions for 2017.

Keep these healthy eating tips in mind:

  • Try not to exceed the amount of calories and fat grams that you need on a daily basis.
  • Try to eat meals and snacks at regular times every day.
  • Make less food look like more by serving your meals on a smaller plate.
  • Take your time when you eat. It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you are full.
  • Try to limit your alcoholic beverage intake. If you drink alcohol, choose light beer and avoid mixed drinks.

Take these small steps to increase physical activity in your daily routine:

  • Build physical activity into your day—take your dog for a walk, park further away from store entrances, or walk around while watching television.
  • Start off slowly with a 5-minute walk on most days, then add more time until you reach 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity five days a week.
  • Move more at work. Try to get a "movement break" during the day.
  • Make it social. When you involve others in your activities, you are more likely to stick to your program.
  • Keep at it. Pay attention to small successes. The longer you keep at it, the better you'll feel.

If you smoke, make 2017 the year you quit. Smoking increases your chance of having type 2 diabetes and makes diabetes harder to control, making it even more deadly and disabling for individuals with diabetes. A nicotine replacement product or other medications can help you stop smoking.

The NKFM offers the Diabetes Prevention Program at various locations throughout Michigan. This program helps those at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles by eating healthier, increasing physical activity and losing a modest amount of weight in order to reduce their chances of developing the disease. Visit for a list of upcoming classes and for more information.

For other helpful resources and programs about diabetes management and prevention, contact the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan (NKFM) at 800-482-1455. For help to quit smoking, call the Michigan Smokers’ Quitline: 1-800-480-QUIT.