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Guest Column: Avoid A Health Tackle: A Playbook Guide for Diabetes

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By Rebekah Curtis, RN

Heritage Victor Valley Medical Group

(Victor Valley)–From the Hiltons’ hotel monopoly, to the Kennedys’ political empire, and the Kardashians’ media circus, past great (and not so great) families have left their own legacies etched in the history books.

One of the most powerful legacies we can leave is often underrated. We prepare for retirement, but how much effort do we put into our kids’ and grandkids’ health legacy?

We note when our kids have Uncle Howie’s killer athletic skills yet rarely discuss how our grandparent’s diabetes could affect our offspring. In honor of National Diabetes Awareness month which occurs every November, during football season, here are a few ways to improve your health playbook regarding diabetes and protect your blindside.

Diabetes is a critical health epidemic and the numbers are frightening. In 2012, the American Diabetes Association’s statistics estimated that 29.1 million Americans had diabetes with another 86 million Americans are pre-diabetic. Here are some ways to reduce the risk of a sack in your health:

Attend tryouts: Assessing your risk

Knowledge really is power. Partnering with a knowledgeable health care team and identifying your personal risk is one of the first steps. Take a self assessment to evaluate your diabetes risk. Educate yourself by attending classes and learn about risk factors and how to improve your current diet and activity levels. Connect with competent healthcare providers to navigate the online maze of health products and medications.

Team Practice: plan your play book

Once you are armed with knowledge about your risk factors, it’s time to take definitive steps to make changes.

Even Peyton Manning doesn’t go into a big game without help. Make your own playbook with your physician to address your identified goals. Ask about classes. Meet your pharmacist about medications. Consider a mid season trade if you don’t have excellent communication with your current physician.

Game Day: Putting your playbook in motion

This is where you put your playbook in action. Consider this the Nike mantra section–just do it! You have already evaluated your life; now it’s action time. Small steps in diet change and activity levels can make big differences in your diabetes self management. Find time to cook with friends, make new healthy recipes from the www.diabetes.org website, use time during TV commercials to lift weights or march in place. Set measurable goals for yourself and reward yourself when you meet them. Find an accountability partner. Attend classes to learn new things about diabetes and how to better manage its effects.

Post Game Show: Review the films

Remember it’s today forward: your diet fumbles or other slips regarding your wellness are in the past; we can only affect change moving forward. Create life momentum. Work your play book. Assess your plans for mid game corrections. Partner with health professionals that can help you reach your goals. Vince Lombardi once said, “There is only one way to succeed in anything, and that is to give it everything”.

Are you willing to commit everything to the legacy and your own health stats? It will impact your family for generations and something to think about other than the latest NFL team stats before the next big game.

Rebekah Curtis is a health education nurse for Heritage Victor Valley Medical Group. She has improved current wellness programs and is now pioneering additional wellness programs that she feels are customized to our area members.

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