Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Aim For 10,000 Steps To Lower Your Diabetes Risk

Health officials have long recommended maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise to prevent type two diabetes, but now, in a study funded by the Australian government and published in BMJ last week, researchers have mounting evidence to support that theory. Although weight maintenance is one valuable benefit of moderate exercise, walking just 10,000 steps per day has proved effective in controlling a number of precursors to chronic disease.

Recent research illustrates the importance of fitting in regular movement throughout the day, regardless of your lifestyle. In a study conducted by the Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Melbourne, participants were given a pedometer to track their steps for two consecutive days in 2000 and again five years later. Subjects also filled out a questionnaire which focused on general lifestyle and healthy habits. Lastly, subjects’ height, weight, body mass index, and insulin sensitivity were measured and recorded. Results indicated that, regardless of other factors, those who walked the most each day had, on average, a lower BMI and an increased sensitivity to insulin than those who logged fewer steps. Overall, more walking meant a reduced risk of diabetes.

The study authors estimated that if a typically sedentary person increased their daily movement to approximately 10,000 steps each day, he or she could potentially lower their BMI by almost a full point and improve their sensitivity to insulin by three times.

Although this study is just one of many to encourage a healthy diet and exercise, it emphasizes the importance of regular, moderate movement. You don’t have to be a hard core athlete to stay fit and ward off disease - just try going for a walk.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! It's amazing what just 10,000 steps can do for one's health!