Study: Simple Leg Exercises Can Help Diabetic Heart Health

Photo of Simple Leg Exercises Prevent Diabetes Complications

A UBC study has found that a few simple leg exercises can reduce the risk of diabetes complications, improve blood vessel function and lower the risk of heart problems.

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Mild Exercise for Seniors Helps Arthritis and More

Photo of Seniors Exercising for Arthritis and other Conditions

Researchers found that a low-impact exercise program for seniors helped decrease pain, improve mobility and enhance quality of life for most participants.

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Physical Activity and Type 2 Diabetes, Type and Timing Matters

Physical Activity and Diabetes

New data about both the amount and timing of physical activity in reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, as well as how it helps diabetes management, can really make a difference.

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Help Manage Diabetes: Take a Short Walk After Meals

Man Walking After Meal - Helps Manage Diabetes

New research from New Zealand’s University of Otago suggests that people managing type 2 diabetes should walk after meals to gain the greatest blood sugar-lowering benefits.

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Study: Exercise Harder for People with Diabetic Relatives


Exercise is good for everyone — but some struggle more than others. Researchers have found that people with a family history of type 2 diabetes actually have to exercise more to achieve the same results as people without diabetic relatives.

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For Diabetics, Exercise Helps Control Blood Glucose, Trim Waist Size and Body Fat


How important is exercise to people with diabetes? Waist circumference, percentage of body fat, and hemoglobin A1c levels all improved in diabetics who exercised compared to those who did not. See how much, or how little, exercise it takes to makes a difference.

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Study Shows Which New York City Residents Spend Too Much Time Sitting Around


New York City is one of the most walkable cities in the county, yet certain groups of residents are spending way too much time sitting around — enough to lower their life expectancy.

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Do Kids Get Good Exercise in Dance Class? Study Says No.


Most parents think that sending their child to dance class provides a good amount of physical activity and exercise. A new study found that this is not the case with dance classes. So how do you think baseball, softball and soccer did?

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Just 2-Minutes of Walking Per Hour Offsets the Hazards of Sitting


Standing may not be enough to offset the hazards of sitting for long periods of time, but adding as little as 2-minutes of walking can get the job done.


Numerous studies show that sitting for extended periods of time each day leads to increased risk for early death, heart disease, diabetes and other health conditions

A new study suggests that engaging in low intensity activities such as standing may not be enough to offset the health hazards of sitting for long periods of time.

On the bright side, adding two minutes of walking each hour to your routine just might do the trick. These findings were published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN).

Numerous studies have shown that sitting for extended periods of time each day leads to increased risk for early death, as well as heart disease, diabetes and other health conditions. Considering that 80 percent of Americans fall short of completing the recommended amount of exercise, 2.5 hours of moderate activity each week, it seems unrealistic to expect that people will replace sitting with even more exercise.

With this in mind, scientists at the University of Utah School of Medicine investigated the health benefits of a more achievable goal, trading sitting for lighter activities for short periods of time. They used observational data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to examine whether longer durations of low intensity activities (e.g. standing), and light intensity activities (e.g. casual walking, light gardening, cleaning) extends the life span of people who are sedentary for more than half of their waking hours.

They found that there is no benefit to decreasing sitting by two minutes each hour, and adding a corresponding two minutes more of low intensity activities. However, a “trade-off” of sitting for light intensity activities for two minutes each hour was associated with a 33 percent lower risk of dying.

“It was fascinating to see the results because the current national focus is on moderate or vigorous activity. To see that light activity had an association with lower mortality is intriguing,” says lead author Srinivasan Beddhu, M.D., professor of medicine.

Beddhu explains that while it’s obvious that it takes energy to exercise, strolling and other light activities use energy, too. Even short walks add up to a lot when repeated many times over the course of a week.

Assuming 16 awake hours each day, two minutes of strolling each hour expends 400 kcal each week. That number approaches the 600 kcal it takes to accomplish the recommended weekly goal of moderate exercise. It is also substantially larger than the 50 kcal needed to complete low intensity activities for two minutes each awake hour over the course of one week.

“Based on these results we would recommend adding two minutes of walking each hour in combination with normal activities, which should include 2.5 hours of moderate exercise each week,” says Beddhu. Moderate exercise strengthens the heart, muscles, and bones, and confers health benefits that low and light activities can’t.

The study examined 3,243 NHANES participants who wore accelerometers that objectively measured the intensities of their activities. Participants were followed for three years after the data were collected; there were 137 deaths during this period.

“Exercise is great, but the reality is that the practical amount of vigorous exercise that can be achieved is limited. Our study suggests that even small changes can have a big impact,” says senior author Tom Greene, Ph.D., director of the Study Design and Biostatistics Center at the Center for Clinical and Translational Science.

Beddhu adds that large, randomized, interventional trials will be needed to definitively answer whether exchanging sitting for light activities leads to better health.

Beddhu and Greene performed the study with Guo Wei and Robin Marcus from the University of Utah School of Medicine, and Michel Chonchol from University of Colorado. The work was funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), and the University of Utah Study Design and Biostatistics Center at the Center for Clinical and Translational Science (funded in part by the National Center for Research Resources).

The study appeared as “Light-Intensity Physical Activities and Mortality in the United States General Population and CKD Subpopulation” in Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN).

Source: University of Utah Health Sciences

Metabolically Healthy Obesity: Exercise May Be the Key

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