Taking Steps Against Diabetes

Physical Activity Key to Prevention




November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, a reminder that by taking the necessary steps, many Americans can prevent incurring the disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 79 million of us have pre-diabetes and may develop diabetes later in life. New research suggests that inactivity, along with an overly refined diet, impairs the body’s control of blood sugar levels and may play a key role in the development of Type 2 diabetes.

“We now have evidence that physical activity is an important part of the daily maintenance of glucose levels,” advises John Thyfault, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia, whose new study monitored the activity levels and diets of healthy and moderately active young adults. He concluded that, “Even in the short term, reducing daily activity and ceasing regular exercise causes acute changes in the body associated with diabetes, which can occur before weight gain and the development of obesity.”

The CDC reports that 25 percent of Americans have inactive lifestyles, taking fewer than 5,000 steps a day, instead of a recommended 10,000 steps. Seventy- five percent do not meet the weekly exercise recommendations of 150 minutes of moderate activity, combined with a muscle-strengthening activity twice a week.

While regular exercise is crucial in preventing the disease, so is diet. Research led by scientist Patrice Carter, at the University of Leicester, in England, has found that cutting down on high-fat, high-sugar foods and refined grains while eating more green leafy vegetables can significantly reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Her study, published online in the British Medical Journal, states that an extra serving of green leafy vegetables a day can reduce the risk of diabetes by 14 percent.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Women Live Longer When Surrounded by Greenery

In a Harvard study, women living in the greenest areas had a 12 percent lower mortality rate over an eight-year period.

Vitamin D plus Calcium Lowers Cancer Risk

Postmenopausal women that took D3 and calcium daily had a lower cancer rate four years later than women that didn’t.

Less Salt Reduces Nighttime Potty Visits

Japanese men and women that reduced salt in their diet made fewer trips to the bathroom at night, while those that increased salt intake made more.

Early Birds Eat Better and Exercise More

People that rise early make healthier food choices and are more physically active throughout the day, say researchers.

Sufficient Sleep Supports Immunity

Fewer hours of sleep was linked to a depressed immune system in a University of Washington study that had ruled out genetic factors as contributors.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags