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The 14-Minute Exercise That Can Save Thousands of Lives -- Including Yours

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I'm calling everyone with diabetes -- and I'm asking you to call everyone you know -- to do something between now and Nov. 14: World Diabetes Day.

By doing what I ask you may save your own life, and together, we'll be saving the lives of thousands of people in need. Young and old, in the U.S. and Latin America, 14 minutes of exercise will get diabetes medicine and other life-saving diabetes supplies to people in need.

Here's the Premise

Exercise helps manage blood sugar and diabetes. You've heard it again and again. Now hear this: Ph.D. Linda Bacon, nutrition professor at the City College of San Francisco, said when talking about heart disease, it's much more likely that being sedentary, not being fat, is the real problem. A 2008 study, done by Harvard researchers, looked into the effects of physical activity and body mass index on coronary heart disease and found that overweight women who walked more than four hours a week had a significantly lower risk of heart disease than those who didn't exercise.

You've probably also heard two out of three people with diabetes die from stroke or heart disease. But still you may have found it hard to get motivated to add some movement into your day.

But what if you saw that just a few minutes of activity can help you manage your blood sugar? You can by doing the Diabetes Hands Foundation's Big Blue Test. In just 14 minutes you'll see how much any activity you choose (walk, garden, bicycle, chase the cat) lowers your blood sugar. That might just get you off the couch, and, you'll be getting life-saving diabetes supplies to thousands who without them may die.

If you're already active, you know the benefits of exercise. Participate in the test because your participation will mean more supplies to more people; each Big Blue Test equals a life-saving donation. Be part of the movement and have everyone else you know with diabetes be part of the movement: Diabetes Hands Foundation is trying to reach 8,000 people to do the test so 8,000 people will get life-saving supplies.

How to do the Big Blue Test:

1. Watch the short video below and get inspired

2. Test your blood sugar, be active for 14 minutes, test your blood sugar again. (Do this between now and Nov. 14.)

3. Record your blood sugar results at BigBlueTest.org by midnight Nov. 14.

Here's the Promise:

Every time someone participates in the Big Blue Test and shares their blood sugar results on the website Roche Diabetes Care, the makers of ACCU-CHEK, is making a donation to provide life-saving diabetes supplies to someone in need.

Last year's Big Blue Test raised $75,000 as a donation from Roche Diabetes Care that funded the International Diabetes Federation's Life for a Child program and Insulin for Life. This year five nonprofit organizations in underserved areas in the U.S., including Alabama and New Mexico, and Life for a Child Latin America will receive donations.

If you participated last year this year something's different. The donation is not tied to views of the video but you doing the Test and recording your results. We want you to actually see the power of exercise to help you manage your blood sugar, so you can live a healthier, fuller life with diabetes.

Here's the Plea:

Pass this post on so more people with diabetes can see how movement can help them manage their blood sugar and to help increase the donation. How many lives can yours save in just 14 minutes?

Here's the Point:

Wouldn't you like to see for yourself how a little activity can help control your blood sugar?
Wouldn't you like to save thousands of lives?
Wouldn't you like to do both in just 14 minutes?

Whether you're currently a coach potato just waiting to unleash your potential, an everyday athlete or Ironman triathlon winner -- be part of the movement. Do the Big Blue Test. Do it for your sake. For your family's sake. For 8,000 families' sakes.

Here's the Punchline:

It's up to you to create a healthy life with diabetes. Now see for yourself how exercise can help you do that. Do the Big Blue Test and save thousands of lives, one of them may be your own.

Riva is the author of "50 Diabetes Myths That Can Ruin Your Life and the 50 Diabetes Truths That Can Save It" and "The ABC's Of Loving Yourself With Diabetes." Visit her website DiabetesStories.com.