Are you or is anyone you know affected by diabetes? One in 12 Americans today have diabetes, which means your answer to that question is most likely “yes.” And if it’s not yes today, it will be in the future as 1 in 3 children born in 2000 will have diabetes in their lifetime.
People Centre’D on Diabetes is a local community advocacy group with a mission to raise diabetes awareness and promote wellness in the Centre Region. Our motto is “Diabetes — Take It On!” During November, which is National Diabetes Month, we’re “Taking It On!” by getting moving and we’re inviting you to join us. We will launch the first “Take it On!” solution with the Million Step Project.
The Million Step Project is a countywide initiative aimed at a preventing and combating diabetes in our community. On Nov. 10, we will encourage organizations, businesses, groups and families to participate in a 2-mile walk. If 250 people in the Centre Region take a 2-mile walk that time and day, we will have walked a million steps as a community.
A million steps represents a goal — not just steps walked together to raise diabetes awareness but also the minimum that people should strive to walk in a year. Two miles is about 4,000 steps and walking 2 miles a day, five days a week for 50 weeks adds up to a million steps. Current healthy activity recommendations include 30 minutes a day of moderate activity five days a week — just about enough time to get in that 2 miles for many people. Of course, everyone is different, so 30 minutes and 2 miles are guidelines for getting started; those who are unable to complete 2 miles should consider starting with as many steps as they can take.
A million steps is a lot but it starts with the first step — the willingness to get moving. Quite often that first step is the hardest one to take, much harder than the 999,999th step. To get started, first select a 2-mile walking path or course from your neighborhood, business or organization. Second, inform and encourage your family, neighbors and customers to participate in this event. Finally, complete a walk registration form so we can add your steps to the step counter we’ll have on our website — www.diabetestakeiton.com — where walkers also can find more information about our organization, the Million Step Project and the walk registration forms.
World Diabetes Day is Nov. 14 every year and as part of an international campaign to raise diabetes awareness, buildings will be illuminated in blue light. Since 2009, PCOD has worked within the community to encourage and help important local buildings such as the Centre County Courthouse, the Bryce Jordan Center, Mount Nittany Medical Center, the Allen Street Grill, Corner Room and the Autoport to light in blue as part of the awareness campaign. But raising diabetes awareness is just one part of our mission; we want to promote wellness in our community and by walking a million steps in November, we will be “Taking On!” diabetes as a community.
Susan Trainor is a founding board member of People Centre’D on Diabetes. She works as a nurse practitioner taking care of people with diabetes and is a certified diabetes educator.