Prevent Diabetes

“Do everything you can to prevent diabetes.” That’s advice lifestyle medicine expert Dr. Gerard McLane has been sharing for decades.

Why? An estimated 34 million people in the U.S. have type 2 diabetes. And more than 88 million (or 1 in 3), have prediabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Left unchecked, diabetes can lead to serious health problems like:

  • Nerve damage
  • Poor circulation
  • Kidney failure
  • Vision loss
  • Increased risk for a heart attack or stroke

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Lace up your shoes and go

New research shows that walking for just 30 minutes a day can lower the risk for diabetes and control blood sugar levels.1

The study followed about 45,000 people for 18 years. Researchers found that physical activity, including walking cut the risk for diabetes by:

  • 12% with low levels of activity
  • 20% with moderate levels of activity
  • 25% with 30-plus minutes of activity per day

Based on the findings, researchers believe regular walking and physical activity could help prevent about 19% of all diabetes cases.

So what are you waiting for? Lace up your shoes and go for a walk, jog or run:

  • Take a walk break during your work day.
  • Walk around the block at home after dinner.
  • If it’s close enough, walk to the store to run errands or buy groceries.
  • Or plan a hike for the weekend.

Walk at least 30 minutes a day, and you’ll be healthier and happier. You’ll also:

Burn calories. Walking burns calories (about 200 to 300 per hour) and fat. This helps you lose weight.

Reduce blood pressure. If your blood pressure is 120/80 or higher, you’ve got some work to do. The good news: Walking helps reduce blood pressure.

Lower cholesterol. If your cholesterol is high, it can clog your arteries, make them stiff, and raise the risk for a heart attack or stroke. Research shows brisk walking is an effective way to lower cholesterol.

Improve mood. Ever have one of those days? You know, you’re stressed out or feeling down about something. In one study, an easy 15 to 20-minute walk was just enough to help people turn things around and feel better.

If you don’t have 30 minutes in your schedule, take a few 10-minute walk breaks, and you’ll still reap the benefits.

Some research suggests a walk each day can also help curb food cravings, reduce joint pain, boost immune function, and help you live longer.

Want to be healthier? Put on a pair of comfortable shoes, and go for a walk.

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