Being SMART about Preventing Diabetes
What are your goals in the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP)? Sure, you want to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. You may also want to lose weight, and you may want to exercise more. These are noble goals, and certainly the reasons why you are in Lark DPP, but are they the goals that will carry you through?
As you learned in Checkin 1, SMART goals can be your guide as you continue on your healthy journey. You do not need to limit yourself to a single goal. Create as many or few goals as you feel will keep you motivated and hold you accountable throughout the program.
What do actor Jim Carrey, three-time Olympic gold medalists Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor, and media sensation Oprah Winfrey have in common? Besides being rich and famous, they use visualization to help them achieve their goals. Visualization is often used for increasing success in athletic feats, careers, public speaking, and business ventures.
As you learned in Lark DPP, visualization can also improve success in achieving health goals. You can use visualization to lose weight, increase your physical activity, and make better health choices. This is when you can use visualization effectively for better health, why visualization works, and how to do it.
You can use visualization any time you are chasing a goal whose success depends on the actions you take. You can use it:
You can visualize the process – say, walking at lunchtime most weekdays – or the outcome – say, losing 10 lb. over the next 6 months.
Why should you bother making healthy lifestyle choices when you may be tempted to order pizza or watch television? Making healthy choices may seem tough sometimes, but they are worth the effort. As you may have just learned in the Lark lesson, poor dietary choices and a lack of physical activity may be responsible for a quarter of all hospitalizations.
It never feels good to learn that you are at risk for a chronic disease, but it feels a lot better when you realize that you have a lot of control over your future health. When you take full advantage of the coaching in Lark DPP, you will be guided towards eating better and getting more active – both critical in lowering diabetes risk, and both under your control.
That is, you can do it!
There are reasons why obesity has been called an epidemic and a health crisis. It is an epidemic because it is officially recognized as a disease. Obesity is a health crisis because it is a risk factor for many conditions, including heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and, of course, prediabetes and diabetes.
It can be hard to lose weight and keep it off, as anyone who has ever tried can tell you, but there are glimmers of hope. One bright spot is that you do not need to hit a so-called “normal weight” to get benefits. You can lower your risk for diabetes by 16% for every kilogram (2.2 pounds) that you lose.
Are you trying to lower your risk for diabetes? Of course you are, since you are participating in the Diabetes Prevention Program. You may have just learned from your Lark coach that doing your best in the DPP can lower your risk of diabetes by over 50%, and there is more.
There is research on how all kinds of healthy lifestyle choices can lower diabetes risk. After you see these facts, you might be even more convinced that your own choices affect your fate. You may become more motivated to make some good daily choices when you see how much they matter.
You can lower your risk of diabetes by…
If you are overweight or obese, your risk for diabetes might drop by as much as 16% for each kilogram that you lose and keep off. That means that instead of following rapid weight loss fad diets, you may be better off making small but sustainable changes to your diet.
The recommended amount of physical activity is at least 150 minutes per week for lowering risk for diabetes. That works out to less than 22 minutes per day, and those may be some of the most productive minutes you ever spend. People who rarely exercise may be 50% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people who exercise for more than 150 minutes per week.
Time is a valuable commodity, so you may need to be creative to find your 22 minutes. You may be able to squeeze in your activity by…
Do you ever lie awake at night, feeling as though you may be the only one in the world who is having trouble sleeping? Do you drag yourself out of bed and through your day, thinking that sleep deprivation is just part of life?
One of the Lark DPP’s key features is the ability to track your sleep, as well as smart sleeps habits to help you get your best rest. The app monitors and tracks sleep, providing you with the chance to see your sleep history over recent weeks, as well as pointing out certain patterns. This increases your awareness of your sleep habits. You might discover patterns for times when you feel tired during the day or have trouble falling asleep at night.
The best sleep app does not just track sleep. It also coaches you on improving your sleep. Lark, for example, offers advice for getting better sleep on a consistent basis. Your coach reminds you that you are worth it – so getting enough sleep is worth it. And for those times when you just need a sympathetic ear, Lark has empathy for you to help you feel better and get through the day.
Prediabetes is stage 1 diabetes, which is when it is still reversible. Diabetes is not something you or any loved one should brush aside. When zooming out to take a look at all the possible complications and harmful outcomes, diabetes is truly scary.
If you are a diabetic or know one, you may have fears like these:
The truth is all these are possible if diabetes is not treated and managed properly. Let’s take a closer look at the risks you face with diabetes.
The ultimate goal for these lifestyle behaviors is for them to become habit so you do not need to think about them when you are making them. Once they are automatic, the healthy choices will be easier, and more frequent.
Lark Diabetes Care wants to help you turn these choices into habits. The more you use the app, the more you practice those healthy behaviors, and the more they become second nature. That is what is going to get you the long-term results you deserve!
Lark wants you to be your healthiest self and to enjoy the journey. Thanks for taking Lark along!