According to a study published in the Sports Medicine journal, an evening stroll can improve blood sugar control and reduce the likelihood of diabetes.
The research suggests just a couple of minutes of walking after food is enough for someone to obtain the benefits conferred by the exercise.
The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Limerick, Ireland, who drew their conclusions after analysis of seven studies which compared the impact of standing or walking after dinner compared with staying in a seated position.
It was found that a short walk was the healthiest act to commit to after eating food with participants in this group showing lower blood sugar levels.
During the study, participants were asked to walk or stand for two to five minutes every 20 to 30 minutes over the course of a day.
Of the participants, five were considered healthy, while two had pre-diabetes or type two diabetes.
Lead author of the study, Aidan Buffey, said this short walk could be applied to other meals in the day. Buffey said: “I would suggest blocking time into your work calendar for a walk – perhaps the last five minutes of the hour.
“People could use an app or phone timer that goes off after a certain time of sitting/working such as 20, 30, or 45 minutes where you would then walk.”
Buffey added the findings were in line from messages from the WHO (World Health Organisation) that people should “sit less, [and] move more”.
On the exercise in question, Buffey said: “With standing and walking, there are contractions of your muscles. These prompt muscles to take up glucose, lowering levels in the bloodstream.”
It was added by the University of Limerick academic that this wasn’t the first time a link had been found between short bursts of exercise and a reduced diabetes risk; however, with this study there was one caveat.
That caveat was the small number of participants in the study; as a result, further research is required before a definitive conclusion can be reached.
Nevertheless, the study demonstrates how impactful even a small amount of exercise can be.
Are there any other ways to reduce the risk of diabetes?
It depends on the type of diabetes in question. Type two diabetes is driven in large part by a diet high in fat and a lifestyle low in activity.
Subsequently, the key to protecting oneself from the onset of type two diabetes is to eat a balanced diet alongside regular exercise.
Should someone become diagnosed with type two diabetes, their risk of other conditions rises sharply thereafter.
Examples of conditions diabetics are at increased risk of are:
• Heart disease
• Nerve damage
• Foot problems
• Vision loss and blindness
• Miscarriage and stillbirth
• Kidney problems
• Sexual problems.
It for this reason that it is essential patients with type two diabetes are extra vigilant.
Is it possible to go into remission from type two diabetes?
Yes, it is. Charity Diabetes UK suggest that the main driver of type two diabetes remission is weight loss, however, there is not yet a full understanding of the remission process.
In the meantime, it is crucial to remain aware of the risk factors and symptoms of diabetes, so an appointment with a GP can be booked in good speed and the issue addressed efficaciously.
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