Ten Thousand Steps

for

Diabetes

 

The 10,000 Steps For Diabetes program is an opportunity for both students and families to learn about the destructive disease called Diabetes and who might be at risk for developing this disease.  They will also learn how to recognize symptoms and what lifestyle choices and changes can be made to possibly prevent diabetes or it's complications.

     In their first class, students learned that diabetes is a group of conditions which result from the  body's inability to produce or use insulin properly which results in a build up of glucose in the blood. They also learned that most cases of diabetes are diagnosed as Type 2 which means that people who have identified their risk factors for developing this disease can possible reduce that risk by making changes to their diet and exercise habits, controlling their blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels and having their blood glucose levels monitored if they are at risk due to family or ethnic heredity.

     Have you taken the AT Risk for Diabetes?  Do you know what the risk factors are or what the symptoms of diabetes include?  If not, please go to the American Diabetes site and take the test.   Read about how making  a few simple changes now can help you live a longer, healthier life.  You would also set an example for our young people so they will learn to make healthy choices in this society of instant everything, food, information, entertainment...Come on!  Join us on our ten week journey and take 10,000 steps toward better health.

     This week, we will be studying the food pyramid.  Students will be asked to identify the different categories, determine the number of servings recommended from each group and then keep a food journal of all their food and beverage intake for three days including one non-work/school day.  Because I feel I can't ask students to do something I wouldn't be willing or able to do myself, I  started this project today.  WOW!  It's hard, but it's a real eye opener. 

     The main material can be accessed through mypyramid.gov and there are some wonderful tools available free of charge.  Did you know that you can get specific guidelines as to how many servings you would need from each food group to meet your specific calorie needs?  Just go to www.mypyramid.gov/professionals.  You can also go to myfoodapedia and get specific information about nutrient and calorie  contents for just about any food you can think of.

     There's another site called Smart Nutrition 101 that can lead you to a healthier you which can lead you to a nutrition education series.  There will be an example of the food journal the students are using at the Iron River Library but they basically will need to record all their food and beverages by placing them in the matching food categories, including the amount and time they ate.  I've taken this a step further by trying to identify the carb, protein,  fat and calorie content.  The goal will be to be able to plan a weeks worth of healthy meals based on the pyramid recommendations and make this a new HABIT.

     Habits is another topic the students will be studying.  The younger children are following a story about HOP A LOT, the Healthy Habits Rabbit.  We can learn a lot from Hop a Lot too.  Most of what we do is based on habit, or doing it without really thinking about it.  That's why changing how we eat and exercise is so hard.  It takes us out of our comfort zone. 

     I found a site that advertises a 42 Day Challenge @www.habitchanger.com/works/;jsessionid that gives tips on how to change family eating habits.  Experts say  instituting a new habit can take as little as 30 days of consistent repetitive behavior.  (www.selfgrowth.com)  All habits at one time begin with a thought, then they are followed by an action done repetitively.  New beliefs=new actions=new results.

     So, this is what we're up to.  Tune in again next week and we'll compare our food intake to the food pyramid, discuss food labels and serving sizes and talk about how to keep our activity journal.

     If you would like to support this program, please send your donation of $7.00 or more to 10,000 Steps.  c/o Pittsley   7130 Spider Lake Road  Iron River, WI  54847.  Please make checks payable to:  Iron River Lions Club-diabetes.  Money will be used to fund a pledge to the American Diabetes Association School Walk for Diabetes and develop a diabetes education program  through our local Lions Club. 

Iron River Lions Club

and

Iron River Elementary School