Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Moderate-intensity walking timed just right might help protect against Type 2 diabetes

12.06.2013
15-minute walks taken after meals helped curb risky rise in blood sugar, new study says

A fifteen minute walk after each meal appears to help older people regulate blood sugar levels and could reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a new study by researchers at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services (SPHHS).

The study, published today in Diabetes Care, found that three short post-meal walks were as effective at reducing blood sugar over 24 hours as a 45-minute walk of the same easy-to-moderate pace. Moreover, post-meal walking was significantly more effective than a sustained walk at lowering blood sugar for up to three hours following the evening meal.

"These findings are good news for people in their 70s and 80s who may feel more capable of engaging in intermittent physical activity on a daily basis, especially if the short walks can be combined with running errands or walking the dog," said lead study author Loretta DiPietro, PhD, MPH, chair of the SPHHS Department of Exercise Science. "The muscle contractions connected with short walks were immediately effective in blunting the potentially damaging elevations in post-meal blood sugar commonly observed in older people," she said.

The findings, if confirmed by additional research, could lead to an inexpensive preventive strategy for a pre-diabetic condition that can over time develop into frank type 2 diabetes, she said. An estimated 79 million Americans have pre-diabetes but most have no idea they are at risk. Other studies have suggested weight loss and exercise can prevent type 2 diabetes but this is the first study to examine short bouts of physical activity timed around the risky period following meals—a time when blood sugar can rise rapidly and potentially cause damage.

DiPietro and her colleagues recruited ten people age 60 and older who were otherwise healthy but at risk of developing type 2 diabetes due to higher-than-normal levels of fasting blood sugar and to insufficient levels of physical activity. Older people may be particularly susceptible to impairments in blood sugar control after meals due to insulin resistance in the muscles and also due to a slow or low insulin secretion from the pancreas. Post-meal high blood sugar is a key risk factor in the progression from impaired glucose tolerance (pre-diabetes) to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, DiPietro said.

Participants completed three randomly-ordered exercise protocols spaced four weeks apart. Each protocol comprised a 48-hour stay in a whole-room calorimeter, with the first day serving as a control period. On the second day, participants engaged in either post-meal walking for 15 minutes after each meal or 45 minutes of sustained walking performed at 10:30 in the morning or at 4:30 in the afternoon. All walking was performed on a treadmill at an easy-to-moderate pace. Participants ate standardized meals and their blood sugar levels were measured continuously over each 48 hour stay.

The team observed that the most effective time to go for a post-meal walk was after the evening meal. The exaggerated rise in blood sugar after this meal—often the largest of the day—often lasts well into the night and early morning and this was curbed significantly as soon as the participants started to walk on the treadmill, DiPietro said.

Most people eat a big afternoon or evening meal and then take a nap or watch television. "That's the worst thing you can do," DiPietro said. "Let the food digest a bit and then get out and move," she says. A walk timed to follow the big evening meal is particularly important because this research suggests high post-dinner blood sugar is a strong determinant of excessive 24-hour glucose levels, DiPietro said.

The results of this study must be confirmed with larger trials that include more people, DiPietro cautioned. Still this study monitored blood sugar levels continuously for 48-hour periods and controlled the environment carefully. The findings have tremendous public health importance in that they offer powerful evidence that smaller doses of exercise repeated several times per day have greater overall benefits to blood sugar control among older people than one large sustained dose –especially if those short bouts are timed just right.

About the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services:

Established in July 1997, the School of Public Health and Health Services brought together three longstanding university programs in the schools of medicine, business, and education and is now the only school of public health in the nation's capital. Today, more than 1,100 students from nearly every U.S. state and more than 40 nations pursue undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral-level degrees in public health. http://sphhs.gwu.edu/

Kathy Fackelmann | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.gwu.edu
http://sphhs.gwu.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Nanoparticles as a Solution against Antibiotic Resistance?
15.12.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests
14.12.2017 | Aalto University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>