I am a African American female, 43 years young and had my fourth baby six months ago. I developed gestational diabetes with each pregnancy. Recently, my family Dr. stated to watch my diet and exercise more. I can't manage my cravings for sweets and snacks. I weigh about 146 lbs, 4ft. 111/2 inches tall. How do I begin to take better care of myself before diabetic manages me? PS: My father, 76 years old was recently diagnosed with sugar diabetes. Thank you in advance.

Studies have shown that losing just 5% to 10% of your body weight may help you prevent or at least delay the development of type 2 diabetes. A healthy weight helps your body use insulin properly. Exercise is a great way to control your weight as well as help you improve your blood sugar control. Since your doctor has already cleared you to exercise, the first thing I would address with regard to beginning your exercise program is your shoe wear. The body goes through significant changes with each and every pregnancy and this holds true for the foot as well. A woman’s foot may increase in length and width during and after pregnancy. So, it is imperative that you begin by finding a comfortable, supportive shoe to begin your exercise program. Walking is a great way to begin your cardiovascular exercise program. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that for heart health you should exercise for 30 minutes MOST days of the week. However, since you are just getting back in to a routine, I would recommend that you begin by exercising 10-15 minutes 2-3 times per week. If that feels comfortable, you can increase the number of days that you exercise and then begin to increase the length of each exercise session to 30 minutes.

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