Reuters reported on November 15, 2007 on a study which appeared in the October, 2007 issue of the International Journal of Sports Medicine which found that people who with Type II diabetes who walk for 20-30 minutes per day have a much lower incidence of heart disease and stroke.
People with type 2 diabetes may lower their risk of heart disease by committing to a daily walk, new research suggests.
In a study of 102 adults with type 2 diabetes, Japanese researchers found that those who stuck with a daily walking regimen for 17 months had a lower risk of developing heart disease or suffering a stroke than those who stopped exercising.
The study participants, who ranged in age from 35 to 75, were instructed to take a 20- to 30-minute walk every day. Among the 64 who managed to achieve this, just 1 - or 2 percent -- suffered a stroke and none developed heart disease during the 17-month study.
In contrast, of the 38 participants who failed to stick with their exercise prescription, 7 -- or 18 percent -- developed heart disease or had a stroke.
Walking is a behavioral change which no physician or pharmaceutical company are going to make money from, and patients have to actually do something other than pop a pill or undergo medical procedures; they will actually have to make some life style changes to save their lives. Are people able and willing to do this? By and large, no, not without proper motivaton and encouragement which is sorely lacking in our culture.
The largest killers in our culture are behaviors which only the individual can change: drinking too much alcohol, using illicit drugs, eating too much, smoking, and lack of exercise. The most signicant changes in health care costs, productivity, mental health, and life expectancy could occur if people could modify the above behaviors.
I, myself, have Type II diabetes and I was walking pretty regularly 30 minutes a day until some Plantar Fasciitis in my left heel really slowed me down and then stopped me from walking every day. However, lately, with some Advil, it seems to be improved and I need to get back at it because even though I am 61, I would like to live another 25 years.
Link: MedlinePlus: Daily walk lowers diabetics' heart risks.