Fighting Diabetes with Exercise

There are plenty of reasons to lead an active life. For one thing, regular exercise can help keep unwanted pounds far away. And if a 2018 report is correct, physical activity could reduce the risk of diabetes.

A Little Goes a Long Way

This study was lead by researchers from the University of Birmingham, an institute located in the United Kingdom. For nearly two decades, the study authors monitored roughly 45,000 Chinese adults. The age of these subjects spanned decades, ranging from 20 to 80. Each of these individuals had received a diagnosis of impaired fasting glucose (IFG), indicating that they were at risk of type 2 diabetes.

Upon reviewing the health and lifestyles of this group, the authors concluded that engaging in increased Leisure-time Physical Activity (LTPA) could yield major results (examples of Leisure- time Physical Activity include walking, jogging and running). “In the approximately 370 million Chinese adults with IFG, increasing LTPA by one category – for example, from low to moderate – would correspond to a potential reduction of at least seven million cases of diabetes. It may also offset the rapid increases in diabetes resulting from population aging and China’s ongoing obesity epidemic, “ stated Neil Thomas, a professor at the University of Birmingham.

The High Cost of Diabetes

Amongst one group with IFG living in Taiwan, the researchers found that exercise made a major difference in diabetes risk. Compared to their stationary counterparts, those who logged a low amount of LTPA were 12 percent less likely to become diabetic. For those who reported moderate and high amounts of LTPA, this figure increased to 20 and 25 percent, respectively.

As in the United States, diabetes exacts a heavy toll on the People’s Republic of China. An estimated 40 to 60 percent of early deaths under age sixty can be attributed to this disease, which simultaneously costs the world’s most populous country $51 Billion annually.

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