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Diabetes Developments - A blog on latest developments in diabetes by David Mendosa

Entries Tagged as 'Exercise For Diabetes'

Do Tai Chi for Your Heart

April 29th, 2016 · Comments Off

Credit: Harbor Athletic Club

When you do the ancient Chinese exercise of tai chi, you can minimize your risk of heart problems, the most common and serious complication of diabetes, according to a meta-analysis of 35 randomized clinical trials. Just published in the March 9, 2016, issue of the Journal of the American Heart Association, the study shows that tai chi and other traditional Chinese exercises like qigong can lower the blood pressure, improve the cholesterol and triglyceride levels, boost the quality of life, and reduce the depression of people living with heart disease and stroke.

The improvements in blood pressure and lipid levels were statistically significant. People in the studies reported more satisfaction with their quality of life and lower levels of depression.

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Stop Walking the 10,000 Steps!

March 10th, 2016 · 11 Comments

Credit: pedometersaustralia-blog.com

It’s a myth that we should walk 10,000 steps every day. Yet walking is the easiest and best physical activity for almost all of us who have diabetes. More is almost certainly better.

Do you know why and when the 10,000 figure originated? Way back in the 1960s a Japanese company was trying to sell pedometers. Some really smart people came up with that number for its extremely successful marketing campaign.

This advertisement didn’t have its roots in research, and my search of the U.S. National Library of Medicine didn’t turn up any scientific basis for it. While some studies have used the 10,000 step figure as a benchmark in the past few years, they are taking it for granted rather than as a fact.

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Walk Away Your Diabetes

February 26th, 2016 · 2 Comments

Walking significantly decreases our blood glucose level, according to a recent meta-analysis. This analysis of 18 studies involving 20 randomized clinical trials including 866 people with type 2 diabetes found that on average it cuts the typical A1C level from the equivalent of  6.5 to 6.0.

walk

This is especially good news for us because walking is “the activity of choice” for people with diabetes. This has long been the way that about half of us get our exercise, according to a nationwide survey.

Do it your way

It can be performed at a variety of speeds with different intensities. I prefer to do my walking slowly on long hikes in nature, but even walking through a mall helps a lot.
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The Best Time to Walk

January 12th, 2016 · 1 Comment

The surprising news is that taking a walk before eating is a great way to keep our blood glucose levels low. But whether we take a walk before or after eating — or both — we will bring down our blood glucose level at the point where it goes highest.

walk

Taking a little walk after dinner used to be a tradition in this country. Few people do that any more, and now is the time for those of us who have diabetes to bring it back. While we are at it, we can start a new tradition of even shorter walks before dinner.

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Taking Standing Breaks Helps Your Health

January 11th, 2016 · 5 Comments

Just standing up is the easiest exercise. But we need to schedule it.

Standing up might be one of the smartest things that you do today. So, push that chair away from your desk. Pause that long meal to rise from the table. Pull your butt up from that easy chair.

stand

Sitting for more than half an hour at a stretch is hazardous for your health. It’s particularly bad for anyone who has diabetes or prediabetes.

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Pedometer Motivation for Diabetes Management

May 9th, 2015 · 7 Comments

When we wear a pedometer we can get the motivation we need to manage diabetes better. My friend John is the best example I know.

I recently visited him in Northern California for five days. Since each of us have both type 2 diabetes and like to get out in nature a lot, I thought that we might take some walks together.  But I had no idea how many, because I hadn’t known about his new pedometer.

Now that he wears a pedometer all the time, he hikes almost every day. And every day that we spent together, we got out in the woods or on the beach. He took me on seven hikes, one that took us nine hours to finish.

John Hikes from the Skyline to the Sea

His pedometer motivates him to count his daily steps. The longest hike we took together measured 39,000 steps and took us well over 13 miles, many of them much more challenging that where I took the photograph above. I wrote about that great hike in “From the Skyline to the Sea” in my Fitness and Photography for Fun blog.

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Interval Training Cuts Diabetes Blood Sugar

October 5th, 2014 · Comments Off

When it comes to our walking speed, moderation doesn’t seem to be the best policy.

Those of us who have diabetes can manage our blood sugar levels better when we alternate between slow and fast walking, according to a new study. When we walk at a constant pace, we don’t get the reduced blood sugar benefit of our physical activity.

The conclusions of the study fly in the face of the usual recommendations that people with type 2 diabetes should avoid high-intensity exercise out of concern that we might get hurt and because we just aren’t likely to take this advice. Yet, the new study doesn’t show that we get any better blood sugar control unless we do interval training.

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3 Reasons Why Some People with Diabetes Need to Run or Jog a BIT

October 3rd, 2014 · Comments Off

A new study of more than 55,000 runners is huge good news for most people with diabetes who are too busy to dedicate a lot of time to physical activity. The experts have been telling us for years that working out is good for our health and happiness, but until now nobody knew how little physical activity we really need.

Intensity is the key that researchers from Iowa State University, the University of South Carolina, the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, and other institutions discovered. They published their new study last week in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The abstract of the study, “Leisure-Time Running Reduces All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality Risk,” is online. D.C. Lee, assistant professor of kinesiology at Iowa State University, is the study’s lead author, and his university gave me a copy of the full text at my request.

run (1).jpg

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The Best Exercise for People with Diabetes

September 27th, 2014 · 2 Comments

Lately I’ve been thinking about the best way for those of us who have diabetes to get the exercise we need to stay in shape and to help us manage our diabetes better. But until now I only had my own opinion.

The best exercise, I had decided on the basis of my experience, was to get the exercise we like, because that’s the only exercise that you or I will keep on doing. That’s true, but frankly I didn’t have much more to say about it. Now I do, because a new study shows for a fact that this is what works.

Fun or Exercise (1).jpg

This morning Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab announced some exciting new research. It had appeared in the May issue of a journal that I wouldn’t otherwise have read, Marketing Letters: A Journal of Research in Marketing.

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Exercise Snacks Control Diabetes Levels Better

June 21st, 2014 · No Comments

All of us snack on food from time when we’re hungry and hope that it wouldn’t raise our blood sugar too much. But I wonder how many of us take “exercise snacks.”

New studies on food and exercise snacks point us in different directions. Food snacking may not be what it’s cracked up to be, and I will report on that study soon. But a new concept of exercise snacking is showing that brief but intense exercise before meals can help us manage our diabetes better.


In the paragraph above I emphasized the phrase “before meals” because we already knew that when we get exercise after a big meal we can quickly bring down our blood sugar level. That’s a good strategy that I have followed myself ever since my late wife asked me after dinner one evening what she could do to reverse a high level somewhere above 200. We went out for a moderate 10 to 15 minute walk, and when we got back home and she tested again her level had dropped to little above 100.

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