Being physically active is key in reducing diabetes risk and the good news is one doesn’t have to engage in strenuous exercises to enjoy the benefits.
While plopping down on the couch to watch TV or taking a nap after meal is very tempting, researchers at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services (SPHHS) recommend older adults who are at risk of type 2 diabetes to go on a 15-minute walk instead.
“The muscle contractions connected with short walks were immediately effective in blunting the potentially damaging elevations in post-meal blood sugar commonly observed in older people,” said lead investigator Loretta DiPietro, PhD, MPH, chair of the SPHHS Department of Exercise Science.
DiPietro and colleagues observed that fifteen minutes of easy-to-moderate pace is just as effective as a 45-minute stroll in reducing blood sugar level. Walking after an evening meal is even more important as this is usually the time when blood sugar level significantly rises, the ScienceDaily reported.
Currently, more than 75 million Americans have pre-diabetes but most have no idea they are at risk. The researchers said their findings still need to be explored further. But if confirmed by additional studies, short walks could become the most economical preventive strategy for a pre-diabetic condition.
“These findings are good news for people in their 70s and 80s…,” DiPietro explained. “Let the food digest a bit and then get out and move.”