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Debbie Allen, Famed Dancer, Choreographer, and Actress

Dance is a way of life! Listen to Debbie Allen's message about her family experience with type 2 diabetes, and why she's joined the T2 Dance Crew program.

Learn Exclusive T2 Dance Crew Choreography and Hear From Members of Our T2 Dance Crew

  • Debbie Allen, Famed Dancer, Choreographer, and Actress

    Debbie Allen

  • Fik-Shun's Hip-Hop Routine

    Fik-Shun Routine 1

  • Janette's Latin Dance Routine

    Janette Routine 1

  • Fik-Shun's “Dance To Your Own Beat” Routine

    Fik-Shun Routine 2

  • Janette's Salsa Routine

    Janette Routine 2

#DOC2Doc

Read the interview! Key influencers in Diabetes Online Community (#DOC) ask leading diabetes experts pressing questions about type 2 diabetes management.

Q.

Why is diet and exercise so important to the management of diabetes? How can physical activity help people with diabetes stay healthy?

A.

We know that keeping physically active and continuing to exercise are key to preventing long-term complications of the disease. Physical activity helps burn glucose and other sources of calories, reduce blood sugar levels, manage weight and we also know it is good for the cardiovascular system. It's really about trying to get people with type 2 diabetes to do more than they were doing before. Some people can run a marathon, and others are happy when they can walk around the block! Start by finding a physical activity you enjoy, work in 5-10 minute intervals and build from there.

Q.

Understanding how diabetes affects different parts of the body is the key to preventing complications from the disease. How do you relay this to your patients?

A.

I can't think of a part of the body that potentially can't be affected by diabetes. And I think we need to embrace it in a positive way and work in a positive fashion to control diabetes, blood glucose and nutrition, A1C and weight. If we work with all of those components, I think we are more apt to have a positive outcome and prevent complications.

Q.

What is your favorite dance move?

A.

I'm not sure I actually have a dance move, my kids would tell me "That's what you did in the 70s and 80s Mom!" I just keep moving, I go with the beat!

Q.

Some experts emphasize the value of patients building on “small steps” to achieve success over the long term. What small lifestyle changes do you find to be the most effective for motivating patients?

A.

I tell my patients, you don't have to become a marathon runner to get healthier, you just have to live a reasonably active lifestyle. Parking further away from the mall or supermarket entrance is an easy way to add more walking into your daily routine, or try taking the stairs. Go for a walk with your family after mealtime and burn off calories as the sugar in your body is surging. These are small changes you can make everyday that will help you achieve your diabetes management goals in the long run.

Q.

Through the Diabetes Hands Foundation we have a program called the Big Blue Test, which demonstrates the tangible effects exercise has on blood sugar levels. How much exercise do people with diabetes need to work into their daily routine to better control their blood sugar levels?

A.

A lot of my patients are misinformed about how much exercise it takes to have an impact. We suggest 30 minutes of physical activity a day, but 10 minutes 3 times a day is just as effective. Taking 10 minutes before you went off to work or 10 minutes during lunch, 10 minutes when you got home would help manage your diabetes and possibly reduce your risk.

Downloadable Resources

Download educational resources to learn more about type 2 diabetes and help successfully manage your diabetes.