How Walking More Helps Prevent Diabetes

Studies show how walking can help control diabetes.

The largest non-profit entity providing diabetes research in the United States is the American Diabetes Association. So when such an organization annually promotes a Walk To Stop Diabetes, that should show you just how powerful the simple act of walking is in combating this dangerous and deadly disease.

It is also known that walking helps improve overall fitness levels, while supercharging your metabolism and allowing you to burn more fat and calories, which helps you lose weight.

Walking More Can Also Help Control Diabetes

If you already have diabetes, walking more can help control the affliction and avoid many of its dire consequences. And if you are at risk for diabetes, simply walking more each and every day could keep you from contracting this potentially deadly disease altogether.

This is because the act of walking not only helps you shed pounds, but it also substantially increases the amount of insulin receptors which are located on your cells. This allows your insulin to help blood sugar move into the cell directly, where it needs to go for proper functioning.

When blood sugar gets stuck in your bloodstream, it runs the risk of becoming attached to blood vessel walls, and possibly decreasing or even totally stopping blood flow in some areas of your body. Several studies have shown that for people with diabetes who take insulin, a regular regimen of walking can even help reduce the amount of medication that is required.

Walking More Helps Oxygenate Your Whole Body

Walking helps your heart beat faster to move blood throughout your body, and this helps oxygenate your muscles, which aids in burning blood sugar as well.

And as a wonderful side effect, increasing the amount of time you spend walking can also positively affect your gray matter. As a brain-sharpening and diabetes-defeating activity, the act of walking efficiently combats slowed brain activity which is often impaired in older diabetes sufferers.

Walking More Can Help You Think Clearer

Scientists have noticed that in many cases with older diabetes patients, the ability to think clearly is drastically reduced. But in at least one study, simple physical activity such as walking actually stimulated the very type of brainwave activity which diabetes had impaired.

Gerald Bernstein is an MD and endocrinologist at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City, and he agrees with multiple findings that average to brisk sessions of walking just thirty minutes a mere three times a week is enough to significantly impact your fitness levels in a positive manner.

This means if you currently have diabetes, are at risk for diabetes, or are simply fit and healthy and want to remain that way. Put the positive power of diabetes prevention to work in your life by walking more, and immediately enjoy the wonderful health-enhancing benefits of this simple activity.

If you’d like to get more out of your walking for fitness plan, check out the “Guide to Setting Your Walking Fitness Goals” for more in depth knowledge on the subject of walking for fitness. While you’re there, be sure to sign up for the free Newsletter to be kept up to date on the latest health and fitness topics.

How Walking Reduces Risk of Heart Attack

When you eat healthy walking can have a big impact on reducing heart attack risks.

In a recent report based on a study done at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA, doctors found that women who walked at a brisk pace three or four hours per week reduced their risk of a heart attack by 30 to 40 percent; those who walked at least five hours per week reduced their risk by 50%.

They went on to state that one-third of coronary events in middle-aged women are due to physical inactivity. Walking can reduce your risk of a heart attack by…

1) Lowering Your Blood Pressure

One of the causes of a heart attack can be high blood pressure – known as hypertension. This “silent killer” causes your heart to work extra hard to pump blood throughout your body. Walking, along with eating properly, losing weight, stopping smoking and restricting your salt intake, has shown to decrease high blood pressure and therefore decrease your risk of a heart attack.

2) Reducing Stress

Walking reduces the amount of stress hormones released in our body. An overabundance of stress hormones elevates your blood pressure. However, by exercising, your mind focuses less on what is causing you stress and more on the repetitiveness of doing the exercise. With less stress hormones in your system, your blood pressure lowers itself.

3) Reducing Cholesterol

The higher your cholesterol level – a ratio of HDL, LDL and triglycerides (another fat in your bloodstream) – the greater chance you’ll have a heart attack. Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that when found in excess, can build-up on the walls of your arteries and cause, at the very least a narrowing, or worse a blockage.

With a narrowing, your heart will not get as much oxygen as it needs and you will get chest pains. If one of your arteries becomes blocked, you suffer a heart attack. By walking, you can naturally raise your good HDL and reduce your bad LDL cholesterol thus lowering your overall cholesterol level.

4) Stabilizing Your Blood Sugar Level

When you eat foods high in sugar, your pancreas releases insulin into your bloodstream to break down the sugar. But in many people, the insulin response is too great, thus processing too much sugar. Your body responds in the form of a craving for sugar so you eat something sweet … and the yo-yo cycle continues.

Why this is bad is that over time, your body becomes what is known as insulin resistant. In other words it takes more insulin than your body is capable of creating to break down sugar. The result – Type 2 diabetes and generally an associated weight gain.

As your body becomes insulin resistant, a thickening of your arteries starts to happen with symptoms and results similar to high cholesterol. Walking takes energy and that energy comes from your blood sugar. With less excessive blood sugar to control, insulin can do its work effectively thus preventing insulin resistance.

A Quick Note on Eating Properly

All the walking in the world will not reduce your risk of a heart attack unless you also eat properly. Many of the above symptoms are linked to not eating right. By eating foods low in salt, sugar and saturated fat, along with regular walking, you can significantly reduce your risk of a heart attack.

If you’d like to get more out of your walking for fitness plan, check out the “Guide to Setting Your Walking Fitness Goals” for more in depth knowledge on the subject of walking for fitness. While you’re there, be sure to sign up for the free Newsletter to be kept up to date on the latest health and fitness topics.