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 blood sugar levels 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 lowering blood sugar 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 in post-meal blood sugar commonly observed in older people,” she said.

The 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 blood sugar levels 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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