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Studies show that exercise lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Physical activity may help lower your chances of acquiring type 2 diabetes. According to a new research published in Diabetes Care, women who take more steps had a decreased chance of acquiring diabetes than women who are more sedentary. 1 Men who are more active had a decreased chance of getting type 2 diabetes than men who are more sedentary, according to a research published in the journal Metabolites.

“It appears that physical activity alters the body’s metabolite profile, and many of these changes are linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes,” says Maria Lankinen, PhD, research scientist at the University of Eastern Finland’s Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition and one of the study’s authors. “More physical exercise enhanced insulin secretion as well.”

The Study of Steps

The research, published in Diabetes Care, tracked 4,838 older women without diabetes (median age 78.9) for up to 6.9 years. Accelerometers were used to track the number of steps taken as well as the intensity of those steps, which were classified as mild, moderate, or vigorous.

“This research found that walking more steps per day was connected with a decreased risk of diabetes in older persons,” says main author Alexis C. Garduno, a third-year student in the joint PhD programme in public health at the University of California San Diego and San Diego State University.

After adjusting for age, each 2,000 step/day increase was linked to a 12 percent decreased risk of type 2 diabetes in older women.

“Our results suggest that moderate- to vigorous-intensity steps were more significantly connected with a decreased risk of diabetes among older persons than light-intensity steps,” says John Bellettiere, PhD, an assistant professor of family medicine and public health at UC San Diego and a research co-author.

The researchers also looked at cardiovascular illness, mobility handicap, and death in the same group of older women, according to Dr. Bellettiere.

“Light intensity exercise was significant for protection of each of those outcomes,” says Dr. Bellettiere, “but moderate to vigorous-intensity activity was always preferable.”

The Metabolites Research
Data from 8,749 men participating in the METabolic Syndrome In Males (METSIM) cohort study in Finland was utilised in the research on physical activity in men. They were 58 years old on average. The guys did not have diabetes at the start of the study and were followed for 7.8 years to see whether they developed diabetes. Men’s levels of physical activity were measured using questionnaires that asked how frequently they exercised each week.

According to senior researcher Dr. Lankinen, “those who were more physically active had a better metabolite profile and a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes than those who were less physically active.”

When compared to males who were physically inactive, those who undertook greater physical exercise had a 39 percent reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. Enhanced physical activity was also linked to increased insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion, according to the findings.

What Effect Does Exercise Have on Diabetes Risk?
Regular physical exercise, according to studies, lowers the risk of insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. Physical exercise also improves insulin sensitivity and the body’s capacity to manage blood sugar levels.

Exercise comes in many forms, all of which are effective in avoiding type 2 diabetes. Strength exercise, such as lifting weights, and aerobic activity, such as walking or swimming, may both enhance blood sugar management.

How Much Physical Activity Is Required?
According to Dr. Lankinen, the current physical activity guidelines for preventing type 2 diabetes include at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week.

“However, in our research, the most physically active people had regular physical exercise of at least 90 minutes per week, and we were still able to show health advantages compared to those who had just occasional or no physical activity,” she says.

In a study of older women published in Diabetes Care, researchers discovered that even walking around the block once was classified a moderate-intensity exercise in this age group.

“This is because, as individuals age, the energy cost of exercise rises, implying that performing a particular action needs more effort,” adds Dr. Bellettiere. “That same stroll around the block would be considered mild exercise for a middle-aged adult in excellent health.”

Dr. Lankinen recommends focusing on the consistency of physical activity in your everyday life rather than the number of minutes or kind of exercise. It is important to choose hobbies that you like so that you will be more inclined to continue.

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