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Does Modest Physical Activity Help Prevent Diabetes

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ccording to a study by the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, modest physical activity is likely to help prevent the development of Type 2 diabetes. Isn't it good to know even modest physical activity is helpful in lowering blood sugar?

The particular study was published in the journal Diabetes Care in June 2012 looked at people taken from a population with a high rate of obesity, The Strong Heart Family Study.

The Strong Heart Family Study looked at genetics and activity levels in American Indians at several test centers throughout the United States. In general, it was found many of the participants did not meet the standards for daily exercise levels. Genes contributing to heart disease, a major complication of Type 2 diabetes, were also discovered.

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This study included 1,826 participants. Over a period of five years, 243 cases of type 2 diabetes were diagnosed. Volunteers who walked less than 3,500 steps per day had a 29 per cent higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes than those who performed at least modest physical activity.

Levels of physical activity are often defined by metabolic equivalents, or METs. Moderate activity is defined as three to six METs. Walking at an average (2.0 to 2.5 miles per hour) paced for one hour provides 2.5 to 3.0 METs. Dancing slowly, golfing using an electric cart instead of walking between holes, or bowling, provides the same number. Two hour-long walks per week would provide 5.0 to 6.0 METs.

Frequently 7.5 METs per week are recommended, and for those who are able to tolerate more vigorous or sustained exercise, more work can glean more benefit, but isn't it good to know modest physical activity can make a positive contribution to your health?

To measure how many steps you take per day use a pedometer. The device is an electronic or electrical instrument usually worn on your belt. By measuring hip movements it estimates the number of steps walked. Some companies offering pedometers include Apple, Nike, Fitbit, Fujitsu, Nokia, Sony, Nintendo, and Philips. Various types of devices include integration with cell phones, devices worn in the shoe, and measurements of climbing altitude.

Alternatively, if you walk standard city blocks, you can count one tenth of a mile walked per block and divide by the time it takes you to reach your goal to get your miles per hour. Using a clock odometer you can measure a certain distance you walk every day and get some idea of your miles per hour by dividing the distance by the time it takes you to walk it.

Walking machines in gyms or for home use, have displays that give not only time, distance, and incline, but calories burned. Remember one pound (0.5 kg) of fat is equivalent to 3500 calories, and normalizing weight is helpful for preventing Type 2 diabetes and lowering blood sugar.

For those readers not scientifically inclined, simply getting up and walking around the block during commercial breaks can be helpful too.

Type 2 diabetes is no longer a condition you must just live with. It need not slowly and inevitably get worse. Now is the time to take control of the disease... and take back your life.

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For nearly 25 years Beverleigh Piepers has searched for and found a number of secrets to help you build a healthy body.

The answer isn't in the endless volumes of available information but in yourself.

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