In November, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension recognizes National Diabetes Month. Created by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, this year’s slogan is “Small Steps, Big Difference,” and focuses on changes that can help prevent diabetes.

“Making several changes in lifestyle, like improving eating and exercise habits, can feel so overwhelming that we don’t make any changes at all,” said David Leal, program specialist with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. “By focusing on simple tasks like walking or adding some fresh fruit as one of your snacks, hopefully we can celebrate our progress, and add more changes as we are able.”

Try these small steps that can make a big difference:

• Move more — Take a walk at lunch or whenever you have the energy and could use a brain break. Start with 10 minutes and add as you are able. The extra muscle movement and circulation does wonders for mood and stress.

• Balance your plate — Focus on a food habit that needs to improve. Replacing high calorie drinks with water or adding veggies to your dinner can really help improve your health over time.

• Set behavior goals — Your goals should involve a change in your regular routine. Walking 3-5 times per week or packing your water bottle in your bag every day are great ways to begin to be healthier.

• Get Help — Support and encouragement can make a big difference when making changes to your life. Find a walking buddy or ask for encouragement from family or friends. Building a support network can make your lifestyle easier to maintain and enjoy.

November is time to celebrate the small changes we can make to live a healthier lifestyle! For more information, contact Claudann Jones, Smith County Extension Agent for Family and Community Health at 903-590-2980 or email at Like our Facebook page: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Smith County. Stay well and stay safe.


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