Here’s a question for you: Do you know if you are at risk for developing diabetes?

Some factors that increase your risk are:

  • Being overweight (especially around the belly),
  • Being inactive
  • Having a close family member who has type 2 diabetes.
  • Being a women who had gestational diabetes during pregnancy
  • Being over 45

When you have type 2 diabetes—the most common type—your body has a hard time moving blood sugar into your cells. And if not carefully managed, this can lead to serious, lifelong consequences. We’re talking about things like damage to your heart, loss of sight, and even foot amputations.

But here’s the thing: There are lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your chances of developing type 2 diabetes. That means, even if you’re at risk, you don’t necessarily have to develop it.

So if some of those risk factors look real familiar, what do you do? For starters, if you haven’t had your blood sugar checked recently—or ever—by your doctor, then make an appointment. Get in. Get yourself checked out. You can’t manage a problem you don’t know about.

Next, you can do 3 basic things. These may sound simple, but they’re powerful. In fact, in one study, people with pre-diabetes who did these 3 things reduced their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by almost 60 percent. Here they are:

  • Get more physically active. Yeah, you knew we were going to say this, right? If you want to beat diabetes, you have to get moving—at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Keep in mind though, if it’s been a while since you were last active, talk with your doctor first. Make sure the activities you want to do are safe for you.
  • Eat healthier. You likely already know if the foods you’re eating aren’t good for you. Try to cut back on sugary drinks, fried foods, fast foods, and overly processed foods. If you eat a lot of these, try making some healthier choices. Talk with your doctor or a registered dietitian for help creating a healthy eating plan.