I have family history of diabetes. My paternal grandfather and both my parents suffered from diabetes. Along with this, I have a sedentary life style where my professional engagements don’t leave me much time for physical exercise. The above two factors expose me to an increased risk of diabetes. However, I plan to follow a suitable diet and exercise plan to reduce the risk. First and foremost, I urgently need to include some physical exercise in my daily routine. As all studies and medicine professionals stress, there is no substitute for physical activity.
The lack of physical activity in my routine is partly due to my extremely busy schedule and sedentary nature of work, and partly due to my own laziness. I intend to deal with both the causes. As for my laziness, I am going to resolve to set apart at least 30 minutes a day for some sort of exercise. I shall keep my resolve with utmost self discipline and determination. I understand that my present laziness can cost me dearly and may lead to serious health complications at a latter age.
Through a healthy and active lifestyle I aim to achieve the following four goals: reduce the extra weight I have accumulated around my waist, maintain a healthy weight, develop enough physical stamina to be able to perform 30 minutes of physical activity without getting tired and be able to avoid usual old age ailments , particularly diabetes To begin with, I shall keep my options open and try various forms of exercises, such as taking a brisk 10 minute walk to and from the parking lot, bus stop, or subway station. I shall try to keep it interesting by trying something different on alternate days.
Like walk my dog, wash the car, clean my house, climb the stairs instead of using the elevator, walk, skate, or cycle more, and drive less, do stretches, exercises, mow the lawn with a push mower, plant and care for a vegetable or flower garden, play with the kids. Later, say about 2-3 weeks later, I shall pick out activities that I enjoy most and repeat those more often. My endeavor shall be to be to be active most days of the week and make it part of daily routine. To be ready anytime, I shall keep some comfortable clothes and a pair of walking or running shoes in the car and at the office.
Gradually, I shall try to include vigorous physical activities like running/jogging (5 miles per hour) , bicycling (more than 10 miles per hour),aerobics, walking very fast (4 ? miles per hour),weight lifting. I shall keep switching between vigorous and moderate exercises to suit my interest and availability of time. I also plan to change my lifestyle on the nutritional side. I wish to change my eating habits to healthier ones. Presently, I am hooked to fast food. I wish to completely restructure my food habits. I have enlisted various food items which suit my nutritional requirements.
I shall select my meals and snacks out of that list– brown rice stuffing in baked green peppers or tomatoes and whole-wheat macaroni in macaroni and cheese, whole grains in mixed dishes, such as barley in vegetable soup or stews and bulgur wheat in casserole , whole grain pilaf with a mixture of barley, wild rice, brown rice, broth and spices , toasted nuts or chopped dried fruit, whole wheat or oat flour for up to half of the flour in pancake, unsweetened whole grain cereal as breading for baked chicken, fish, veal cutlets, or eggplant parmesan, unsweetened, whole grain ready-to-eat cereal as croutons in salad or in place of crackers with soup. For snacks, I shall choose out of — ready-to-eat, whole grain cereals such as toasted oat cereal, whole-grain flour or oatmeal when making cookies or other baked treats, a whole-grain snack chip, such as baked tortilla chips, popcorn, a whole grain, with little or no added salt and butter. I shall plan my menu with variations. A sample diet chart for a day would be some thing like: In implanting the above plan, I might encounter some difficulties. It shall not be easy to give up fast food at once. To deal with it, I plan to reduce it to once a day, then every alternate day, twice a week, thus gradually bringing it down.
Similarly, it would take a fair amount of discipline to follow the exercise plan. It is easy and tempting to slip into a lazy routine and give in to the temptation for unhealthy food. I plan to overcome it with self discipline and determination. To see if my diet and exercise plan is yielding desired results, I shall regularly assess my food intake and physical activity. I shall make use of “My Pyramid Tracker”, an online dietary and physical activity assessment tool that provides information on diet quality, physical activity status and gives related nutrition messages. After providing a day’s worth of dietary information, it shall help me evaluate by comparing the amounts of food eaten to my nutritional goals.
Likewise, after providing a day’s worth of physical activity information, it gives an overall “score” for physical activities that looks at the types and duration of each physical activity that one does and then compares this score to the physical activity recommendation for health. Thus, I shall monitor my daily and monthly progress. In the shot run, say over six months time, I shall consider my health plan successful if I am able to maintain a healthy weight and general fitness and well being. However, in the long run, especially during middle age, if I am able to avoid diabetes, blood pressure, arthritis and other diseases which generally come with old age, I shall owe it to my healthy lifestyle during my youth. Adequate nutrition and a well balanced diet is of vital importance in old age so as to prevent and control the common hazards of aging.
I shall ensure an adequate intake of calcium, in particular, to compensate for its losses due to gradual demineralization of bones associated with aging. Apart from the diet, I shall continue with my physical activity and light exercises to keep fit and prevent the occurrence of diseases like arthritis, gout and obesity. I shall also go in for regular or periodic health checkups and weight monitoring as it helps in physical fitness and early detection of complications, if any.
United States Department of Agriculture, (2009), My Pyramid. gov-Steps to a healthier you , from http://www. mypyramid. gov/index. html Shubi Hussain,(2009) ,Diet in Old age, from http://www. indiadiets. com/diets/Normal_diets/diet_in_oldage. htm