Fortune cookies may not predict your future, but occasionally they offer good advice. One of the most common messages? "Now's the time to try something new." With that, we agree! And the place to start? Say good-bye to snacking on cookies (they contribute to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and a lousy sex life) and hello to snacking on exercise! Taking a quick bite of physical activity throughout your day can help keep blood sugar steady and reduce insulin resistance.
Almost 90 million North Americans have prediabetes and are insulin resistant. That means your body can't use the insulin it makes to control your higher-than-normal glucose levels, putting you at increased risk for cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and nerve and eye damage. But a new study shows that multiple, brief periods of activity, including short bursts of high-intensity effort, are a very effective way to control blood sugar. (If you don't lower your glucose levels within 10 years, half of you with prediabetes will develop full-blown Type 2 diabetes!)
Here's how to create really good fortune: Before breakfast, lunch and dinner, enjoy an exercise snack for just 12 minutes. Take a bite of walking, jogging (outdoors or on a treadmill) and using light weights or exercise bands. For best results, during your 12-minute sessions, rev up your intensity by munching on one-minute bursts of super-charged activity; for 60 seconds work up a sweat, then cool down for 60 seconds; repeat for the duration of the snack attack. Now that's sweet!
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.