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when is that come for a walk When it comes to risk of type 2 diabetes, it’s not just how much you exercise that affects your risk, but how fast you move too, a new study has found.
“Previous studies have shown that frequent walking is associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the general population, with people walking longer each day having a lower risk.” said Dr. Donner, lead author of the study. said Ahmad Jayedi, a research assistant at the Center for Research on Social Determinants of Health at Iran’s Semnan University of Medical Sciences.
However, results from previous studies provide little guidance on the optimal habitual walking speed needed to lower diabetes risk, and a comprehensive review of the evidence is lacking, the authors say. Stated.
The study authors reviewed 10 previous studies conducted between 1999 and 2022 and found that gait speed in adults in the United States, United Kingdom, and Japan was determined by either an objective timed test or a subjective We evaluated the association between type 2 diabetes mellitus (as measured by 2017) and the development of type 2 diabetes. .
After an average follow-up period of 8 years, researchers found that people who walked at an average or normal pace had a 15% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to easy or casual walking. discovered. Those who walked at a “fairly brisk” pace meant they had a 24% lower risk than those who walked easily or casually. And, “Brisk walking/stride walking had the greatest benefit, reducing risk by 39%.
Easy or casual walking was defined as less than 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) per hour. Average or normal pace was defined as 2 to 3 miles per hour (3.2 to 4.8 kilometers per hour). A “fairly fast” pace was 3 to 4 miles per hour (4.8 to 6.4 kilometers per hour). In addition, the speed of “brisk walking/stride walking” was 4 (6.4 km/h) or higher. Every 1 km, your walking speed increases to faster than a brisk walk. was associated with a 9% lower risk of developing the disease.
While it’s not surprising that faster walking may be more beneficial, the researchers said, “The ability to quantify walking speed and incorporate it into the analysis is interesting,” said the American Diabetes Association’s Chief Scientific and Medical Officer. Director Dr. Robert Gabbay said. , on mail. Gabay was not involved in the study.
The study also supports the idea that “strength is important in diabetes prevention,” said Carmen Cuthbertson, assistant professor of health education and promotion at East Carolina University, who was not involved in the study. said in an email. “There are health benefits to any amount of physical activity, but for diabetes prevention, it’s best to engage in more intense activity, such as a brisk walk, for maximum benefit. It seems important.”
Understand the benefits of brisk walking
Although the study does not prove causation, it does suggest that “more vigorous exercise may lead to greater fitness and weight loss, which may reduce insulin resistance and lower the risk of diabetes. “I can imagine,” Gabay said.
Dr. Michio Shimabukuro, professor of medicine and head of the Department of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolism at Fukushima Medical University, agrees, saying, “As walking speed increases and exercise intensity increases, there may be greater stimulation of physiological functions and metabolism.” ” he added. Your health will improve. ” Shimabukuro was not involved in the research.
Dr. Borja del Pozo Cruz, a senior health researcher at the University of Cadiz in Spain who was not involved in the study, said walking speed may simply reflect health status, and that walking speed may simply be a reflection of health. He said this means that people are more likely to walk faster.
“The risk of reverse causation is high, (in which case) health impairments are likely to explain the observed results,” del Pozo Cruz added. “Randomized controlled trials are needed to confirm or otherwise confirm the observed results.”
The overall message is that “walking is an important way to improve your health,” Gabay said. “Sure, walking faster might be even better. But given the fact that most Americans don’t do enough walking to begin with, encouraging people to walk more whenever possible is a good idea.” is the most important.”
But if you want to challenge yourself, experts say fitness trackers like watches, pedometers, and smartphone apps can help you objectively measure and maintain your walking pace.
If you don’t have access to a fitness tracker, easy alternative A tool for tracking exercise intensity is the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “Talk Test.” This is based on understanding how physical activity affects heart rate and breathing. If you can speak in a distressed voice while walking, but cannot sing, your pace is probably fast.