By: Alison Dunn Nov 16, 2010
  Editorial
Move it, move it

I freely admit that I’m a bit of an exercise junky. Not only do I run a few times a week, I also take part in a number of fitness classes that involve walking, free weights, circuits and more. I do yoga once a week and Pilates too. Really, I’m just not a person who takes it easy.

Part of the reason I love exercise so much is because of how it makes me feel. Getting out for a run always helps clear my head and helps me face the day. Going to a muscle class with free weights makes me feel lean and strong (even on those days the scale may disagree!).

But more than that is how much exercise benefits my health. I’m rarely sick, I have a healthy body mass index and my waist circumference is in a low-risk range for heart disease. My blood pressure is low and I have a nice, slow resting heart rate. I may still fall ill in the future, but exercise has really helped me lower the risk of contracting something like Type II diabetes.

That’s really the thing – regular exercise, along with a healthy diet, is strongly correlated to controlling blood sugar and preventing Type II diabetes. (And if you do have Type II diabetes and want to exercise, be sure to check out “Start your engines” right here on Health Local). But can exercise do even more to help prevent diabetes?

It sure can – if you’re part of Team Diabetes, that is! If you haven’t heard of Team Diabetes, it is the national activity fundraising program for the Canadian Diabetes Association. The program aims to promote an active and healthy lifestyle for all Canadians and act as a fundraiser for diabetes education, research and services.

Team Diabetes participants walk, run, and cycle in races around the world to raise funds for diabetes research. Whether it’s a full marathon in Iceland, hiking in the Grand Canyon, or a half marathon in Halifax, members of the team train and complete these destination events year-round, raising money with pledges along the way.

The best part is you don’t have to be an athlete to join the team. Team Diabetes also offers training and support to achieve both the physical and fundraising challenges of doing an event. It’s an exciting way to help others and learn how to live an active, healthy life at the same time.

A race that’s good for the soul and good for the body? Now that’s some exercise I can really get behind!

If you’re interested in learning more about Team Diabetes, be sure to visit the Canadian Diabetes Association website at http://www.diabetes.ca/get-involved/supporting-us/team-diabetes/faq/

A journalist with more than 10 years experience, Alison’s work has appeared in a number of top Canadian publications, including glow, Oxygen, Canadian Running and more. She is the former editor of a number of well-respected Canadian and American trade journals and recipient of a Kenneth R. Wilson Gold Award of Excellence in feature article writing. She is a part-time faculty member at Sheridan College’s journalism department, as well as an avid runner and fitness enthusiast.