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Stopping Diabetes Can Begin with a Single Step

(ARA) – Do you or a loved one have diabetes? Have you lost someone close to you to diabetes? If you or a loved one suffer from diabetes, or if you’ve lost someone close due to the disease, you know just how important it is to take strides to stop diabetes.

Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes is the American Diabetes Association’s signature fundraising walk, and every year, thousands of families touched by diabetes and members of nationwide business communities pledge their support to the event. More than $20 million a year is raised through the walk to support the association’s mission to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

Step Out is a great way to show support for the nearly 26 million children and adults in the U.S with diabetes and the 79 million more who are at risk. Every 17 seconds, someone new is diagnosed with diabetes.

People with diabetes can choose to walk as a Red Strider. A Red Strider is someone who has diabetes – type 1, type 2 or gestational – who can proudly walk as an individual or create a team and walk with friends, family and co-workers.

Jeffrey Lisitza is one of the many walkers who will be stepping out as a Red Strider this year. Lisitza was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes more than 20 years ago. With a concentrated effort to improve his health, he since has lost more than 100 pounds.

“This year, once again, I’ve joined the fight to stop diabetes by participating in the Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes,” says Lisitza. “I am honored be a Red Strider to help motivate others living with this challenging disease.”

The purpose of the Red Strider program is to support everyone who lives with diabetes and to show the courage it takes to live with this disease. “The day of the walk is really a time to celebrate all of the accomplishments of the teams and individual participants, as well as a great opportunity to promote awareness about diabetes,” adds Lisitza.

The many benefits of walking, for those with and without diabetes, include:

* Burning calories. By walking just an extra five minutes a day you can burn an additional 24 calories per workout. That may not seem like much, but over the course of one year it adds up to a total of 8,760 additional calories burned.

* Improving blood fats. Exercise can raise good cholesterol (HDL) and lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides. These changes are heart healthy.

* Relieving stress. Work out or walk off daily stress.

* Improving blood glucose management. Activity makes your body more sensitive to the insulin you make. Activity also burns glucose (calories). Both actions lower blood glucose.

There are 135 Step Out events around the country, so chances are there’s a walk close to you. By walking in a Step Out event in your area, you are joining the American Diabetes Association’s movement to stop diabetes and helping to change the future of diabetes.

For more information or to register for a Step Out event in your community, visit www.diabetes.org/stepout or call (888) DIABETES (888-342-2383).