5 reasons why brisk walking reduces type 2 diabetes risk

Regular brisk walking has emerged as a compelling lifestyle choice to mitigate the risk of developing type 2 diabetes [1]. 

This simple yet effective exercise has garnered attention for several reasons, demonstrating its potential to enhance overall wellbeing and prevent the onset of this prevalent metabolic disorder [2]:

  1. Improved insulin sensitivity: Brisk walking significantly improves insulin sensitivity, a critical factor in preventing type 2 diabetes [3]. The body becomes more adept at utilizing insulin to regulate blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of insulin resistance – a precursor to diabetes.
  2. Enhanced glucose metabolism: Brisk walking is pivotal in optimizing glucose metabolism. The muscles’ increased activity during this exercise leads to improved glucose uptake, efficiently utilizing blood sugar [4]. This positive impact on glucose metabolism is crucial in preventing the development of diabetes.
  3. Weight management: Weight control is paramount in diabetes prevention and brisk walking is an effective tool for managing body weight. This low-impact exercise helps burn calories, contributing to weight loss or maintenance. Maintaining a healthy weight is closely linked to a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes [5].
  4. Cardiovascular benefits: Beyond diabetes prevention, brisk walking provides extensive cardiovascular benefits. It promotes heart health by enhancing blood circulation, reducing blood pressure and lowering cholesterol levels. A healthy cardiovascular system is integral to overall well-being and complements efforts to prevent diabetes.
  5. Stress reduction: Chronic stress is a known contributor to diabetes risk. Brisk walking is a natural stress reliever, triggering the release of endorphins – feel-good hormones that alleviate stress [6]. By incorporating regular brisk walks into one’s routine, individuals can effectively manage stress levels and reduce their susceptibility to diabetes.

Brisk walking is a multifaceted approach to reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Its impact on insulin sensitivity, glucose metabolism, weight management, cardiovascular health and stress reduction collectively make it a valuable and accessible strategy for promoting overall wellbeing and preventing the onset of this prevalent metabolic disorder.

Embracing the simplicity and effectiveness of brisk walking underscores its potential as a proactive measure in pursuing a healthier and diabetes-free lifestyle.

Read more about this study from the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6125024/
[2] https://edition.cnn.com/2023/11/28/health/walking-speed-lowers-diabetes-risk-wellness/index.html
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507839/
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5846677/
[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2992225/
[6] https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/exercising-to-relax

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