When you have a busy schedule, finding time for physical fitness can be challenging. Why not consider something as simple as walking? It can provide more positives than many of us may realize. (Before starting a new fitness program, consult with your healthcare provider to ensure it is safe for you.)
1. To achieve any health benefits, you need to participate in higher-intensity activities at least once or twice a week in addition to walking.
2. People with diabetes who walk every day for 30 to 60 minutes can obtain which benefits?
3. Walking is associated with which of the following in people with diabetes?
4. Which of the following statements is correct?
A. Moderate exercise such as brisk walking by itself can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
B. Moderate exercise such as brisk walking cannot reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
C. Moderate exercise such as brisk walking can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
D. Only high-intensity exercise can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
5. When it comes to walking for diabetes prevention and control, the number of steps you take matters.
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1. False. In a study published in the journal Diabetes Care, researchers found that it is not necessary to do a lot of strenuous exercise to reap health benefits — even small increases in physical activity can help. The study authors noted that walking regularly is “one of the best things you can do for [your] health.”
2. D. People with diabetes who walk every day for 30 to 60 minutes (all at once or in smaller chunks) can enjoy improved glucose control, cardiovascular fitness, and weight management. Exercise helps the muscles absorb blood glucose, preventing it from building up in the bloodstream. A study in Diabetologia indicated that walking after meals is particularly beneficial for glucose control. With respect to heart health, a review in Current Opinion in Cardiology noted that “increased walking volume is associated with reduced cardiovascular mortality and events among those diagnosed with diabetes.” Last but not least, walking regularly burns calories, which can help with weight management.
3. D. A meta-analysis looking at the impact of walking on blood glucose control and other cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes published in PLOS One showed that this activity is associated with a decreased A1C (a measure of glucose control over the previous two to three months), along with reduced body-mass index (BMI, a measure of weight relative to height) and lower diastolic blood pressure.
4. A. A joint position statement from The American College of Sports Medicine and the American Diabetes Association notes that regular physical movement reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. The researchers concluded that “exercise plays a major role in the prevention and control of insulin resistance … type 2 diabetes and diabetes-related health complications.” A review in the World Journal of Diabetes found that “Walking for at least 30 min[utes] per day was shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by approximately 50%.”
5. True. In the recent CARDIA Study, which analyzed data from 1,923 middle-aged participants, those who walked the most steps per day over an average of nine years had a 43% lower risk of diabetes and a 31% lower risk of high blood pressure, compared to those who took the fewest steps. In women, every 1,000 additional steps were associated with a 13% reduced risk of becoming obese.
Want to learn more about walking for diabetes? Read “The Health Benefits of Walking” and “How to Lower Blood Sugar? Take a 10-Minute Walk After Meals, Study Says.”