A new study has revealed that a short 15-minute walk after every meal can regulate blood sugar levels in the body and minimize the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Several researches have shown significant benefits of physical activity which keeps the blood flow in the body intact and the heart healthy. A new study has found the key to control type-2 diabetes, particularly in older adults. A 15-minute stroll after every meal can significantly reduce the blood sugar levels in the body and help minimize the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The study found that 15-minute walks after each meal were more effective than a continuous walk up to three hours following an evening meal.
Diabetes is a condition where the body either fails to produce enough insulin to regulate the blood sugar levels or the cells do not respond to the insulin produced in the pancreas. Nearly three million people have been diagnosed with diabetes in the UK and more than 850,000 people are believed to have diabetes without their knowledge. According to a latest WHO report, 347 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with diabetes. The total cost of diagnosed diabetes increased by 41 percent since 2007. Nearly $176 billion is spent in health care for the treatment of diabetes each year in the U.S., according to American Diabetes Association.
Researchers suggest that the finding of the study is highly important as it has found an effective way to control the risk of type-2 diabetes in older adults. Health experts recommend 45-minutes of exercise most days of the week to control diabetes. But Lead author, Loretta DiPietro of the Department of Exercise Science at The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, says that older adults are not motivated to exercise for sustained periods. Hence, the study has shown a much simpler way to control their diabetes.
For this study, DiPietro and her team evaluated 10 volunteers in their early 70s. These participants had elevated blood sugar levels, but were not diabetic. Three different two-day tests were carried out involving all participants and their blood sugar levels were constantly monitored. Researchers asked the participants to walk on a treadmill for either 45 minutes in the mid-morning or in the afternoon or for 15 minutes after each meal. The three different exercises were conducted four weeks apart.
Researchers found that the blood-sugar levels significantly dropped when the participants performed 45 minutes mid-morning exercise and three 15 minute exercise sessions for two days, but the results of the afternoon 45 minutes exercise did not yield satisfactory results.
"This is not for weight loss, and it's not going to increase your cardiovascular fitness very much," DiPietro told NBCNews.com. "It's very specifically for glycemic control with older age."
DiPietro noted that the 15-minutes three session exercises can be very helpful among old age people and pregnant women at risk of gestational diabetes, as they would not be able to perform exercises for 45 straight minutes.
The findings appear in the June issue of Diabetes Care.