Whether or not you have diabetes, physical activity is a very important part of a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise can improve your mood and sleep quality, give you energy, and lower your risk for serious conditions. But many people aren’t sure exactly how much physical activity to get every day, or how hard the workouts should be. The good news is that more and more studies are showing the benefits of simple daily walks. Read on to find out more about the latest research into exercise for people who have type 2 diabetes.
Research recently published in the Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders looked at 102 people with type 2 diabetes to see if walking with a pedometer (a small machine that counts the number of steps you take) made their lives better. The participants were split up into three groups:
- Supervised walking with a pedometer
- Unsupervised walking with a pedometer
- No exercise
Both before and after the study, they all had to answer a survey with questions about their quality of life. It included questions about their self-confidence, how they felt about their appearance, and how optimistic they were.
The researchers looked at the survey answers from before and after the study. They found that, while any amount of walking improved the quality of life of participants with type 2 diabetes, the biggest result was seen in the first group. Being supervised may have helped them stick to the walking program, and using the pedometer may have motivated them to walk further and for longer periods of time.
Though this study was small and did not last a long time (only 4 months), it showed similar results to other studies into physical activity. Whether or not you have type 2 diabetes, you can benefit from regular walking. Though heavy exercise can be helpful for controlling body weight and blood glucose levels, it isn’t always necessary.
If you have type 2 diabetes and do not get regular physical activity, you have the most to gain from walking. This is especially true if you use a pedometer to track your progress. You may feel better about the way you look, be more optimistic about the future, and have better moods from this simple daily exercise. To be sure that it’s safe for you to get more physical activity, make an appointment to see your healthcare provider before you start. For information about walking programs in your area, ask at your healthcare provider’s office or your city’s community center. Pedometers are widely available at pharmacies, grocery stores and online.