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Certified diabetes educator: exercise can be a "magic pill"

November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and experts say getting active is one tool in the fight against the disease. (File)

November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and experts say getting active is one tool in the fight against the disease.

In this week's Family First segment, KRCG 13 spoke with SSM Health Certified Diabetes Educator Cheryl Lummis about the importance of making regular exercise a habit.

"My dietitian used to say that exercise was the free pill for people with diabetes," Lummis said. "It was gonna help them with their blood pressure, blood sugar, depression, weight loss, the whole nine yards."

Lummis said it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by a new exercise regimen. But she said it's important to not get discouraged, and focus on not overdoing exercise in the first stages.

"Yes, a lot of guidelines recommend thirty minutes of exercise, at least three times a week. But I always say to people, 'You know what, I don't care how you do it. You can start out with five minutes.'"

Those five minutes eventually add up - Lummis said you may even find that getting active comes with some unexpected benefits.

"When you do exercise, you can splurge, and have that dessert, or that extra dessert."

This November, remember Lummis' advice: get active and stay active by implementing small changes.

Watch KRCG 13 at 5 p.m. next Friday for our next Family First topic. We'll talk to a dietitian about the importance of familial support when someone is diagnosed with diabetes.

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