Though Houston Texan Duane Brown does not live with diabetes himself, he is very close to the disease because his family has been directly impacted by it. As a member of our Stop Diabetes® Celebrity Cabinet, Duane has been of great value to our mission by offering advice on the importance of healthy behavior to manage diabetes and prevent type 2 diabetes.
1) Why is the American Diabetes Association’s cause special to you?
It’s special to me because diabetes is an epidemic in our country and a lot of people don’t know the severity of it. Also, my family has been affected by it – so it really hits home. Bringing awareness is important to me.
2) For Men’s Health Month we want to bring attention to the importance of scheduling and keeping doctor’s appointments. We know that men tend to procrastinate on this for various reasons, one of them being the fear of having to change their current lifestyle. Are regular medical checkups a part of your routine?
Yes, checkups are definitely part of my routine. They are very important for me because my body is how I make a living. For any man, you need to know where you stand.
3) As a professional athlete, how important is a balanced diet to your health and career? How do you stay on top of healthy eating when tired, traveling or stressed?
I’m all about eating well and staying in good health. I work out a lot, and good nutrition is the most important aspect of being a successful athlete. I think a lot of people believe that offensive linemen eat whatever we want, but that’s not true. Eating healthy is actually very important to me.
It’s difficult to eat healthy when you’re traveling, but trying to find the best options possible is important. Drinking a lot of water and staying away from soda and fruit drinks helps a lot as well.
4) Exercise can help lower blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol—which is especially important for people with diabetes. Though you do not have diabetes, type 2 runs in your family, and physical fitness is critical for your career. How do you motivate to move on days you’re distracted or in a funk?
Those are the hardest days. That’s the definition of mental toughness – doing things that are necessary when you don’t want to. Training, working out and preparing my body for each season have helped me acquire great discipline over the years. I have to have the discipline to eat right and exercise so that every Sunday I’m ready.
I can be very tired or on vacation, and so on, but I always find a way to work out. It’s helped me with my longevity and durability in my profession, so it’s something I take very seriously.
5) Do you have a support system (friends, family and coaches) to help you stay healthy?
My coaching staff! And we have a nutritionist who does a great job of keeping healthful options around. My wife is a great support system because she cooks for me and helps me stay on track. My teammates also do a good job of being disciplined themselves, and that helps motivate me as well.