Moderate Intensity Walking May Improve Insulin Sensitivity Among People with Prediabetes

People who have prediabetes are often told that they need to make healthy lifestyle changes in order to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Now, the findings of a recent study presented at the annual Experimental Biology meeting show that simply walking on a treadmill for one hour daily may improve insulin sensitivity among these individuals.

The researchers gave 15 obese participants oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTTs) before and after they engaged in this type of exercise for seven days.

"When people have prediabetes, their blood glucose will be high after an OGTT. We know that hyperglycemia causes oxidative stress, so we wanted to look at [the participants'] monocytes before and after the OGTT," said lead researcher Jacob M. Haus.

The study's results showed that the week-long walking regimen resulted in a decrease in the subjects' blood glucose levels, even after OGTTs were administered.

According to the Diabetes Prevention Program, a person with prediabetes who weighs 200 pounds and loses between 10 and 15 percent of his or her body weight may be able to delay or even prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. Good nutrition and sufficient exercise are both key to shedding pounds.

Increasing physical activity does not have to involve sprinting. Many obese people find that chores, such as cleaning the house or walking their dog, speed up their heart rates. The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse recommends that individuals with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes exercise for 150 minutes each week.

However, the organization notes that there are some activities that people with diabetes and certain diabetic complications may need to avoid. Always check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program.