November 14 is World Diabetes Day. It was introduced in 1991 to create awareness on the alarming rise of diabetes around the world.

Did you know that if diabetes was a country, it would be the third most populated after China and India? That’s roughly five per cent of the world population. Why are we contributing to this growing number?

Very often you hear people say that their father or mother or grandparents are diabetic so it is inevitable that they too should become diabetic. However, here’s the good news. Just because you have a family history does not mean that you too should end up like that. You can take charge of your life and change things around. I can hear you ask how much you must change your lifestyle to achieve this. You don’t have to deviate too much from your regular routine.

I am a standing example. I am 35 years old and my mother is a diabetic. I fall into the high-risk category of developing this disease. But as of now, I have done everything in my ability to beat diabetes. You can do the same.

Here’s what you have to do

l Any form of physical activity that lasts 30 minutes — three times a week. By doing this you also release endorphins that can keep you charged the rest of the day.

l Watch what you eat. Listen to your body, it sends you cues on a daily basis. A minor stomach pain today can mean a major disorder tomorrow. Your body tells you it must be something that you ate earlier today or yesterday. Moderate your consumption of any food.

l Prepare a timetable for yourself and make it a habit. Eat three almonds/walnuts when you wake up. Opt for a healthy breakfast. Make sure you have a fixed time for your lunch. Have dinner early — preferably by 7 P.M.

l Relax. You are the master of your actions. Do not let stress take over. Learn to manage it. Get eight hours of sleep. When in a stressful situation remember to do deep breathing.

l Finally, there are numerous online tools, health checks and even genetic assessments through which you can know the risk of diabetes. Read and learn about it so that you can act on it.