Walking has been linked with an effective way to manage diabetes. Medical professionals also believe walking, and other forms of moderate exercise can help ease the growing concerns around the diabetes pandemic.
The World Economic Forum reports that diabetes is an epidemic that kills “three times” as many people than Covid. An estimated 463 million live with diabetes and is forecast to increase to 700 million in the next 25 years.
Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disease of multiple aetiology characterised by chronic hyperglycemia. It changes in the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins that occur as a result of defects in insulin secretion, insulin action, or a combination of the two.
The prevalence of diabetes throughout the world is a growing concern that is not being effectively addressed. It is believed that one in eleven people has diabetes – yet only one in every two people is aware that they have the disease.
Experts say there is little we can do to prevent diabetes type 1, but a healthy lifestyle can prevent diabetes type 2. Diabetes UK recommend partaking in physical exercise that reduced stress levels. In particular, the charity promotes walking for people with diabetes.
The effects of acute stress are usually temporary and lead to a temporary increase in blood glucose (glycemia). However, if a person is regularly exposed to stress, the levels of adrenaline and cortisol.
Cortisol is a primary stress hormone and can lead to vasoconstriction, tachycardia, and a long-term increase in glycemia. This is a contributor to the development of hypertension and diabetes – which could explain why more people suffer from diabetes. The lifestyles we live are highly stressful.
Stress hormones increase blood sugar levels in order to provide enough energy to fight the causes of stress. The body defends itself by constantly producing more insulin, which over time increases the risk of developing diabetes. On the other hand, the stress in diabetes is a negative psychological reaction related to the emotional burden with the treatment of a demanding chronic disease.
Can walking manage stress and reduce the risk of developing diabetes? Yes!
As we walk, the number of sugar transporters within each cell multiplies. Diabetes patients notice that their blood sugar drops from 12 to 7 after walking. It takes between two to three hours of moderate physical activity a week to prevent diabetes and obesity, and doctors suggest walking as an ideal activity. The intensity of walking isn’t the most important, but the movement itself.
Muscles use blood sugar as a source of energy for their work. Unlike other tissues, muscles do not need insulin to use sugar. That is why muscle activity is of great importance because it enables the lowering of blood sugar without the need for increased insulin secretion. Also, during physical activity, the blood flow is accelerated and more oxygen is delivered to the cells, stimulating their metabolism and energy consumption.
Older people who are at risk of getting diabetes have improved their blood sugar levels because they walked for 15 minutes after each meal, a new study has shown. Three short walks after each meal showed better results than one walk of 45 minutes in the morning or evening, says lead researcher Loretta DiPietro, chairwoman of the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services in Washington, D.C.
The most important thing is to walk after dinner, in order to normalize the blood sugar level before going to bed, because otherwise there is a higher risk of diabetes.
In the research, walks started half an hour after a meal, and so the time was obtained for the food eaten to be digested first. If you start exercising immediately after eating, it will cause the blood glucose level to increase even more because the muscles need sugar to work. Half an hour after a meal is the optimal time to start exercising.
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