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Diabetes Risks Shrink With Exercise

Exercise is a major part of my Total Health Plan, and should be as important to you as proper eating and sleeping. And who needs more exercise than the great many of you who sit behind a desk all day every day pecking away on your computer keyboards.

Just another reason I was pleased to read about an Australian study that found vigorous exercise reduces the risk of diabetes among overweight, sedentary men. And if these men reduce the amount of calories they consume each day, their diabetes risk drops even further.

Researchers asked 60 nonsmoking, sedentary, overweight 20-to-50-year-old men to either maintain their usual diet or restrict their calorie intake for 16 weeks. The men, all non-diabetics, were also randomly assigned to participate in a vigorous exercise group or light exercise group, for comparison.

Overall, researchers found that vigorous exercise -- intense half-hour-long sessions three times per week -- alone lowered glucose levels by 13 percent and insulin levels by 20 percent in response to an oral-glucose-tolerance test. For this glucose test, scientists measured how much insulin was needed to keep glucose concentrations within a certain desirable range two hours after the men consumed a sugary drink. Fasting glucose levels were also lower among the vigorous exercisers in comparison to their light-exercising peers.

However, vigorous exercisers did not have any great weight loss.

Calorie restriction was also effective, the report indicates. Men who restricted their calorie intake not only lost a significant amount of weight and had a nearly six percent reduction in body fat, but their insulin concentrations were also reduced by 40 percent on the glucose tolerance test.

Yahoo News September 16, 2004

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