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Moderate Better than Strenuous Exercise for Preventing Diabetes, Study Suggests

A new study from Duke University published in the journal Diabetologia, suggests that walking briskly may be more effective than  jogging for improving glucose control for individuals who are pre-diabetic.

One hundred and fifty individuals who were diagnosed with pre-diabetes were studied for 6 months. To assess the effect of the different types of exercise on blood glucose levels, they divided participants into three groups who given the  instructions for engaging in different types of exercise, and told not change their diets . One group was labeled  low-amount of exercise at moderate intensity (walking briskly for 7.5 miles per week). Another group was labeled high-amount of exercise at  moderate intensity (walking briskly for 11.5 miles per week). And the third group was labeled high-amount at vigorous intensity (jogging for 11.5 miles per week).

Researcher Dr William Kraus says, “We wanted to know …  which intensity of exercise is better for controlling metabolism in individuals at risk for diabetes.”

Participants in the moderate-intensity, 11.5-mile group saw a 7 percent improvement in glucose tolerance on average. The moderate-intensity, 7.5-mile group had a 5 percent improvement on average. The lowest improvement was seen among those in the vigorous-intensity, 11.5-mile group, with only a 2 percent average

Research author Willian Kraus explains, “High-intensity exercise tends to burn glucose more than fat, while moderate-intensity exercise tends to burn fat more than glucose. We believe that one benefit of moderate-intensity exercise is that it burns off fat in the muscles, which relieves the block of glucose uptake by the muscles. That’s important because muscle is the major place to store glucose after a meal.”

The study’s authors say that further study would be needed to determine whether moderate-intensity exercise is actually superior to high-intensity exercise at preventing those  pre-diabetes from progressing to full blown diabetes.

Dr Kraus says that  the study’s results could provide manageable alternatives for pre-diabetic patients. “When faced with the decision of trying to do weight loss, diet, and exercise versus exercise alone, the study indicates you can achieve nearly 80 percent of the effect of doing all three with just a high amount of moderate-intensity exercise.”

For more of the latest in nutritional/ lifestyle research check all of my blog posts at www.drsobo.com/blog

For the best care in Integrative Medicine call Henry C. Sobo, M.D., at 203-348-8805 or write us at [email protected]

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