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Diabetes has become an ever-growing epidemic in the current lifestyle. Exercise and weight control, along with timely medical intervention are the key to Diabetes control and prevention of complications namely kidney failure, foot ulcers and blindness.
People who suffer from Diabetes, Type I or Type II (or non-insulin dependent), can benefit from regular exercise. Patients of diabetes, who exercise regularly, require less medication than usual. The three most important tools used to control diabetes are diet, exercise, and medication. All these must be incorporated into the lifestyle of all patients of diabetes. Healthy eating and /or taking medication alone does not successfully control blood sugar levels. Regular physical activity is equally essential.
Sometimes people have higher than normal glucose levels but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetic, as per WHO criteria. In simple terms it can be termed as borderline diabetes and a person with pre-diabetes is at risk of developing type-2 diabetes. It is very important for such individuals to adapt a healthy lifestyle in order to prevent diabetes. Low-calorie diet combined with 30-minutes aerobic exercises e.g. brisk walking, may help in keeping diabetes at bay. Walking comes under the category of moderate physical activity. There are a number of clinical studies which have reported that brisk walking for at least 150min/week, when compared to minimal amounts of weekly walking significantly lowers the risk of developing diabetes.
“Walking for exercise” is the most commonly reported form of exercise. A large study of 37,828 women from the Women’s Health Study found that self-reported walking for 2–3 h/week was associated with a 34% reduction in the incidence of Type 2 diabetes over almost 7 years of follow-up (Weinstein et al., 2004).