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Sugar Can Spoil Your Season

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by Hayley Chemski, MSN, CRNA and Certified Fitness Trainer



Summertime picnic desserts turn to Halloween candy and fall festival treats. The weather changes, and although the beauty of the Laurel Highlands can be breathtaking as leaves turn majestic colors, our activity level drop when we come indoors from cooler temperatures. As mundane as seasonal changes may seem, one must realize that adverse activity and dietary changes can lead to an increase in disease incidences. Moreover, what you choose to eat and what you choose to ‘do’ are two of the leading contributors to your risk of developing Type II diabetes. Disease is lurking in the shadows, and you may be able to control its onset.

Diabetes (known to some as “sugar”) affects 25.8 million Americans, nearly 1/10, while upwards of 7.8 million have not been diagnosed. In one year, diabetes is either the cause of death or a contributor in over 230,000 deaths in America. Diabetes can lead to heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure (hypertension), blindness, circulation dis-orders (amputations), poor wound healing, kidney disease (resulting in kidney failure), and nerve disorders (neuropathy). As estimated in 2012, diabetes costs $245,000,000,000 (billion) each year!

The leading causes of Type II diabetes (non-insulin dependent type) are sedentary lifestyles and poor eating habits. By creating a healthy living pattern, you may be able to decrease your chances of Type II diabetes.

Fitness, such as the modalities offered at Building Bodeez Fitness and Wellness Center, can level your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol. In addition to leveling your blood sugar by burning sugar for fuel (in several ways), exercise has been proven to make insulin more effective in the blood stream. Examples of exercise or physical activity can include, but are not limited to, walking (Walk/Run club), aerobic dance (Zumba/Hip Hop), strength training (Silver Fitness/Jam n Tone), swimming (Aqua Zumba), biking (Bike Club), and Yoga (Yoga Basics)—those listed in parentheses are available at Building Bodeez. Aim for activity of 30 minutes daily, at least 5 days/week. Keep track of your activity. You might find that writing every-thing down helps keep you on target and helps you to evaluate what works for you. Finally, find a buddy to exercise with you. Personal trainers are great ‘buddies’ and will keep you accountable and safe when trying new activities, but at fitness centers likened to Building Bodeez, you will find many clients are friendly and helpful, they will promote your activity through their welcoming and inclusive behavior.

In addition to fitness, a sensible diet is one of the best ways to decrease your risk of Type II diabetes. To revamp your pantry, shop on the outer perimeter of the grocery store where most foods are fresh or refrigerated (produce, deli, low-fat milk products). Limit your access to processed foods by scaling back on purchasing potato chips, boxed foods, and high-sugar snacks. Stock up on fresh vegetables/fruits, lean (non-processed) white meats, and whole-grain breads/pastas.

Next, spend time planning at least half of your meals weekly. As our Building Bodeez nutritional expert, Janine Koutsky, MES states, “failing to plan is like planning to fail.” She goes on to point out a nutritional plan (beginning with a few of your meals each week) will alleviate daily stress, avoid repeated trips to the grocery store, and decrease binge eating when ‘the cupboard is bare’ and you are ravenously hungry. Maintain a consistent blood sugar and avoid ‘inhaling’ wasted calories by eating regularly throughout the day; be-tween snacking and breakfast, lunch, and dinner, one should eat 5-6 times/daily.

Find time for your health this fall as you celebrate the change of sea-sons. Involve your family and friends in the choice to eat a healthy diet and to live an active lifestyle. Consult your physician for more information regarding your risk of diabetes, and read more online at www.diabetes.org.

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HCHHayley is a Certified Fitness Trainer and the co-owner of Building Bodeez Fitness Center, located at 154 Pandora Rd in Derry, PA, as well as a full-time Nurse Anesthetist with the University of Pittsburgh Physicians, currently based at St. Margaret’s Hospital in Fox Chapel, PA. Hayley offers a wealth of fitness and health knowledge, serving as the Group Fitness Coordinator and Wellness Programs Director at Building Bodeez. She has developed several programs at Building Bodeez including initiation of the first ZUMBA classes in the area, as well as AerobaDANCE and Yogilates (her unique creations), and the wildly successful Building Better Bodeez weight loss intensive program.

She has also been a nurse for eight years, and obtained her Masters Degree in Nursing Anesthesia in 2008. Hayley has been recognized by the Westmoreland County YWCA as Sportswoman of the Year (2010) for her dedication to women’s’ health, as well as philanthropic work through Building Bodeez. She also recently won the prestigious 2012 Westmoreland County Winners’ Circle Award sponsored by the YWCA for exhibiting early professional success as well as the potential to obtain marked achievement. Hayley recognizes the marriage of fitness with healthy living and disease risk prevention, and offers suggestions for holistic wellbeing through her blog at Laurel MountainPost.


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