There’s always so much to do. Especially at this time of the year.
If you’re not in the middle of planning your OWN get together, you’re usually on your way to one. There’s the cleaning and shopping. And don’t forget your work, church, and charity obligations.
But if you’re anything like me, you like it that way.
After all, experts are always telling us that staying busy up to retirement and beyond is key to living a long, happy life. And you and I both know having a purpose, social connections, and deadlines is a huge part of what keeps us feeling young and vibrant.
But it turns out there is a thing as too busy. And working from sunup to sundown can have a dark side.
Long hours could lead to a diabetes diagnosis
In fact, according to new research, if you’re continually burning the candle at both ends, you could accidentally send your diabetes risk skyrocketing.
Now, this isn’t the first time researchers have looked at this connection, of course. And links between long hours and diabetes risk have been uncovered before.
But past studies tended to focus exclusively on the guys. So this time the focus was on BOTH sexes.
The Canadian researchers tracked more than 7,000 workers for 12 years. And when they crunched all the data, they once again found a link between work hours and diabetes risk.
But it wasn’t exactly what everyone expected. The connection between longer hours and increased diabetes risk didn’t show up for the guys this time. But it sure did for the ladies. Big time.
Diabetes risk shot THROUGH THE ROOF
Women who worked a standard work week of 30 to 40 hours had no increased risk of developing diabetes. But once a woman’s working hours sailed past 45 hours the story changed. Drastically.
The ladies who worked 45 hours or more in a week had a staggering 63 percent higher risk of developing diabetes on average than women who worked fewer hours.
Now, these folks were still working, of course. But even if you’re retired, you’re not off the hook if you’ve simply swapped your day job for jam-packed days full of non-paid work. Long hours are still long hours.
And besides, the researchers theorize all that unpaid work might account for the gender differences in the study results. Because chances are after putting in all those day job hours, the women in the study were far from done with their work days.
Women often handle household chores like cleaning, cooking, and dealing with the home finances. And other family and volunteer obligations add to that hidden workload.
In other words, retired or not if you’re STILL working long hours it could be sending your diabetes risk soaring.
Defeat diabetes… trade long hours for better balance
Now I don’t know about you, but I can’t drop all of my obligations. And frankly, I don’t want to. But what we can BOTH do is find better work and life balance.
It’s okay to say “no” from time to time.
Maybe attend the event, rather than work behind the scenes planning it. And let someone else host the Christmas dinner this year.
And with your new-found spare time why not try these three diabetes-defeating solutions?
Yoga isn’t just for hippy-dippy new agers anymore. And it’s not reserved for 20-somethings either. Yoga for seniors and even chair yoga make this modern version of the ancient practice appropriate for ALL of us. And when you find out what it can do for you, you’re going to want to try it.
A study out of the Department of Internal Medicine at UCLA found that a simple 10-minute yoga routine decreased fasting blood sugar levels in nearly half of the volunteers. And the routine was even seated, so you don’t have to be as flexible as a noodle or have perfect balance to reap these results. Check YouTube for some free videos to get you started.
No matter how you choose to do it… whether it’s prayer, meditation, or even just sitting quietly while sipping on a cup of green tea…. regular relaxing could be the key to keeping your blood sugar in check. And it’s the perfect antidote to those long hours.
Because according to experts chronic stress is an often-overlooked contributor to high blood sugar. Which means getting your stress levels under control could mean keeping your glucose under control too.
There’s no doubt about it. Fitting in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5-6 days a week is one of the best things you can do to keep your risk for diabetes in check.
But don’t worry; you don’t have to become an iron-pumping gym rat to do it. If you’ve taken up yoga that counts towards your total. Toss in a 20-minute brisk walk or a few laps in the pool, and you’re there. Plus as a bonus, exercise helps reduce stress too.
Don’t let working long hours drive you straight into a diabetes diagnosis. Step out of the rat race and into good health instead.