If you have diabetes, it can seem like everyone is always telling you to exercise more to control your blood glucose levels. Staying active and keeping ﬁt can be tough, especially when you ﬁrst start out. But there is some good news. Exciting new research has found that blood glucose control can be as simple as playing a video game.
WHAT RESEARCHERS HAVE FOUND
A German research team used two groups, each with about 100 people with diabetes. The people who took part in the research were between 50 and 75 years old. One group was told to use the Nintendo Wii Fit Plus video exercise game for 12 weeks. In the game, you stand on a balance board to control your movements and play the game with a hand-held control. The second group was given regular care for 12 weeks, and did not play the game. After this time, they got the chance to play the video game for 12 weeks. At the start and end of each 12 weeks, the people in the study had their weight, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels checked.
DOES IT REALLY HELP CONTROL BLOOD GLUCOSE?
The study found that the group using the Wii Fit Plus video game had better control of their blood glucose levels than the group that did not use it. Also, those who played the video game to help stay active had:
- Lower A1C levels, suggesting better long-term glucose control.
- Lower weight.
- Better quality of life.
- Lower rates of depression.
The people with diabetes in the regular care group got the same good results when they had their chance to play the video game.
TAKE-AWAYS FROM THE STUDY
This study shows that you can lose weight and control your blood glucose levels in the comfort of your home, and that it can be fun. This “fun factor” makes you more likely to be active, stay active, and lead a healthy lifestyle to improve your overall health.