November 5, 2019
Did you know that November 14th, 2019 is World Diabetes Day?
World Diabetes Day is a global campaign that puts a spotlight on issues surrounding diabetes. It reaches over 1 billion people worldwide in over 160 countries!
In line with World Diabetes Day, the West Toronto Diabetes Education Program (West Toronto DEP) will hold an information booth at Dufferin Mall (12-5pm) and Cloverdale Mall (12-4pm). Our team will be at these locations to spread awareness of diabetes and to answer any questions you may have. Please join us and enter for a chance to win some wonderful prizes!
The symbol for World Diabetes Day is the blue circle, which stands for worldwide unity in fighting diabetes. The 2019 theme is Family & Diabetes which highlights the important role that the family plays in all aspects of diabetes, from prevention to management.
Quick Facts on Diabetes
• Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, amputation,
heart disease, kidney failure and even early death.
• The key to preventing complications
from diabetes is early diagnosis and treatment.
• 80% of the time, type 2 diabetes is preventable!
With careful management strategies, people with type 2 diabetes can be expected to live long and fulfilling lives. One thing you can do to manage your type 2 diabetes is physical activity.
But wait – what is physical activity?
To be physically active, you don’t need a gym membership or personal trainer. Physical activity is any form of movement that uses energy. That means activities like walking, taking the stairs, and shoveling snow are examples of physical activity!
How does physical activity help manage diabetes?
Insulin is a hormone that helps sugar enter your body’s cells so that it can be used as energy. If you have type 2 diabetes, your body cannot properly use insulin or does not make enough, so sugar builds up in the blood. During physical activity, your muscles use up sugar because they are working hard. This prevents sugar from building up in your blood!
Other health benefits of physical activity include:
• Better cardiovascular fitness
• Lowered risk of heart disease
• Weight management
• Stress relief and improved sleep
• More energy!
What are the different types of physical activity?
• Aerobic – continuous and repetitive movements of many muscles for at least 10 minutes at a time; for example, cycling or running. Diabetes Canada recommends 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week!
• Resistance – brief, repetitive movements meant to make muscles stronger; can use different types of weight for resistance (for example, weight machines or dumbbells). Diabetes Canada recommends 2 to 3 sessions of resistance training per week!
“But, I cannot be physically active on my own.”
This is a common barrier for many people. Going back to the 2019 theme for World Diabetes Day, Family & Diabetes, it is important to note that your family, friends, or coworkers can be great sources of support for your physical activity goals. Doing physical activity with others not only helps you get started, but it also helps with maintaining physical activity over time. For instance, you can go for daily walks with a family member or friend at lunchtime.
Do something you like!
If you start a new activity and find that you don’t enjoy it, don’t worry—try something else! It may take you a few tries to find something that you like and once you do, it’s easier to stick to it.
1. In the short-term, physical activity can be started gradually and can help keep your blood sugars under control.
2. Over the long-term, physical activity and controlled blood sugars can decrease the chances that you experience life-changing complications
3. Doing physical activity with your family (or others in your support network, like friends or coworkers) can make it easier to get started, have fun, and keep with a regular schedule!
Your healthcare provider can help you find ways to gradually incorporate physical activity into your daily life and to set individualized goals.
Check out this link for more information on World Diabetes Day: https://worlddiabetesday.org/, and the links below for resources from Diabetes Canada to help you get started with physical activity.
International Diabetes Federation. 2019. World Diabetes Day. Retrieved from:
Diabetes Canada. 2018. Physical Activity Fact Sheet. Retrieved from:
Diabetes Canada. 2018. Benefits of Physical Activity. Retrieved from:
Diabetes Canada. 2018. Planning for Regular Physical Activity. Retrieved from:
Author: Pamela Vargas (Dietetic Intern), supervised by Fedaa Boqaileh RD CDE