Many of us like to spend time with family and friends, enjoying activities and being physically active. To live a healthy life, we need to take care of ourselves, but how?

In the last months we have been writing about diabetes since it is such a prevalent condition in our community and because it causes a lot of harm. People may have diabetes or prediabetes and not know it. Since prevention and treatment are both important in fighting the disease, the project Champions of Hope: Latinos Preventing Diabetes is offering both the “Know Diabetes by Heart”, a program from the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association as well as the “Diabetes Prevention Program” (DPP).

The National Diabetes Prevention Program is a Center for the Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognized lifestyle change program recognized program. The aim is to help participants lower their risk of developing diabetes type 2 by changing their lifestyle. To achieve this goal, the group meets weekly for about six months and then biweekly for the rest of the year. The program focuses on changing habits for participants to lose 7% of their initial weight and to be physically active for at least 150 minutes each week. If you weigh 200 pounds, 7% of your weight is 14 pounds, therefore your goal would be to lose about a pound per month. It is important to note that this is not a diet program, the emphasis is on eating healthy. If you are uncomfortable with the idea of being physically active for two and a half hours each week, remember that walking, playing with your children or grandchildren in the park, or cleaning your house all are physical activities. When you attend the program, you will learn many other ideas on how to stay active.

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Comer saludable y perder 7% de su peso inicial es otra meta de DPP. (Foto:Ilustrativa/ Pexels)

The program will be facilitated by community members and students from Esperanza College that have been trained by Jefferson’s Center of Urban Health. They will serve as lifestyle coaches, providing information and interactive activities to participants, celebrating their successes, and encouraging them when they struggle. The meetings will take place in a safe, comfortable, and welcoming environment for all participants.

You can participate in this life changing program if you are 18 or older and your body mass index (BMI) is 25 or greater or have been told that you are prediabetic (your A1C is between 5.7- 6.4%). If you do not know what is your BMI you can calculate it by visiting cdc.gov and typing in the search bar “BMI calculator”.

We will start a DPP offered in Spanish on Tuesday, June 29 at 7:00 pm. This program will be virtual and free. To register, contact Magalie.perez@jefferson.edu or call 267-252-4628. Looking forward to seeing you!

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