Type 2 diabetes impacted by exercise

A new study by researchers at the School of Public Health and Health Services (SPHHS) demonstrates that a fifteen walk after each meal helps older people regulate and could reduce their risk of developing .The study, published in Diabetes Care,  determined that  three short post-meal walks were as effective at reducing blood sugar over 24
hours as a 45-minute walk of the same easy-to-. Post-meal walking was significantly more effective than a sustained walk at for up to three hours following the evening meal.

Lead study author Loretta DiPietro, PhD, suggested that elder people may benefit substantially: “These findings are good news for people in their 70s and 80s who may feel more capable of engaging in intermittent on a daily basis, especially if the short walks can be combined with or walking the dog”. “The connected with short walks were immediately effective in blunting the potentially damaging elevations in post-meal blood sugar commonly observed in older people,” she said.

The study population consisted of a small group of ten people age 60 and older who were otherwise healthy but at risk of developing due to higher-than-normal levels of fasting blood sugar and to insufficient levels of .

Participants completed three randomly-ordered exercise protocols weeks apart. Each protocol comprised a 48-hour stay in a whole-room , with the first day serving as a control period. On the second day, participants engaged in either post-meal walking for 15 minutes after each meal or 45 minutes of sustained walking performed at 10:30 in the morning or at 4:30 in the afternoon. All walking was performed on a at an easy-to-. Participants ate standardized meals and their were measured continuously over each 48 hour stay.

The team observed that the most effective time to go for a post-meal walk was after the evening meal. The exaggerated rise in blood sugar after this meal — often the largest of the day — often lasts well into the night and early morning and this was curbed significantly as soon as the participants started to walk on the , DiPietro said.

The study provides that from a public health perspective moderate exercise may have more impact on a large scale population that is at risk for .


Loretta DiPietro, Andrei Gribok, Michelle S. Stevens, Larry F. Hamm and William Rumpler. Three 15-min Bouts of Moderate Postmeal Walking Significantly Improves 24-h Glycemic Control in Older People at Risk for Impaired Glucose Tolerance. Diabetes Care, 2013 DOI: 10.2337/dc13-0084





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