Walk 30 Minutes a Day to Cut Diabetes Risks

Risks cut in half for people of any weight

Three walkers

No excuses - get out and walk for 30 minutes a day as your minimum daily requirement for health and to prevent Type 2 diabetes. A study by the Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, published in the Oct. 1, 2003 American Journal of Epidemiology discovered that walking for 30 minutes a day cut diabetes risks for overweight as well as non-overweight men and women.

Reduce Diabetes Risk by Walking 30 Minutes a Day

Complications of Type 2 diabetes are the leading causes of misery and death in the US - amputations, impotence, blindness, kidney failure, and shortening life by five to seven years. Yet this disease is preventable by lifestyle changes. Walk outdoors or on the treadmill each day, eat healthier and enjoy life rather than heading down the road to a life governed by blood sugar readings and disabilities.
More: How to Start Walking

"We have found that men and women who incorporate activity into their lifestyles are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who are sedentary. This finding holds no matter what their initial weight," said study author and principal investigator Andrea Kriska, Ph.D., associate professor of epidemiology at GSPH. "This suggests that adopting and maintaining a program of regular physical activity similar to what the Surgeon General's recommendations suggest can play a significant role in preventing type 2 diabetes."
More: Health Risks of Sitting Still

Use a Pedometer or Fitness Band

A study done by the UK PREPARE program to see whether using a pedometer could spur those with prediabetes to more get more activity saw positive results. They reported via DiabetesUK that they saw a 15% reduction in blood sugar levels after a year, which they equate to over a 50% reduction in risk of progressing to Type 2 Diabetes.

The study participants were given steps-per-day target to get them walking for 30 minutes a day. After two years, the results were sustained. The control group who got education about how much activity was needed, but didn't use a pedometer, did not see improvement.
More: 10 Ways to Motivate Yourself with a Pedometer

Walking Sheds Pounds as Well as Cutting Diabetes Risks for Overweight People

The landmark 2001 Diabetes Prevention Program study that showed that walking 30 minutes, for five days a week, and moderate changes in eating cut in half the risk of diabetes in overweight people with high blood sugar. The participants also lost an average of 15 pounds in a year. This result makes moderate-intensity exercise such as brisk walking the prescription to prevent Type 2 diabetes in the 16 million Americans on the verge of developing diabetes.
More: How to Walk Off Weight

Andrea M. Kriska, Aramesh Saremi, Robert L. Hanson, Peter H. Bennett, Sayuko Kobes, Desmond E. Williams, and William C. Knowler."Physical Activity, Obesity, and the Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes in a High-Risk Population." American Journal of Epidemiology. 2003 158: 669-675.

Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group. "Reduction in the Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes with Lifestyle Intervention or Metformin." New England Journal of Medicine 2002; 346:393-403February 7, 2002DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa012512

Yates T, Davies MJ, Sehmi S, Gorely T, Khunti K. "The Pre-diabetes Risk Education and Physical Activity Recommendation and Encouragement (PREPARE) programme study: are improvements in glucose regulation sustained at 2 years?" Diabet Med. 2011 Oct;28(10):1268-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.2011.03357.x.

Pedometer could cut Type 2 diabetes risk by half: DiabetesUK 04 January 2010.

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