Reducing Your Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes
Regular Exercise and Weight Loss
Insulin is a hormone produced in the body. It helps glucose move out of the blood and into body tissue for use as energy. Excess body weight makes your tissues less responsive to insulin. This can lead to high blood sugar. By losing weight, your body tissues will be more sensitive to insulin and better able to use insulin. Studies suggests that you can lower your risk of type 2 diabetes by as much as 58% through moderate, sustained weight loss (between 4%-5% weight loss for three years) and daily exercise.
Regular exercise can help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes in two ways:
- Exercise alone lowers blood sugar levels by making your cells more sensitive to insulin.
- Regular exercise will help you lose weight. In combination with regular exercise, eating a healthy, reduced-calorie diet is an essential part of losing and maintaining a healthy weight.
Heart disease is a common complication of diabetes. Regular exercise can help lower the levels of fat and cholesterol in your blood and lower your blood pressure. This will decrease your risk for heart disease.
Choose exercises that you enjoy. Make it part of your daily routine. Strive to maintain an exercise program that keeps you fit and at a healthy weight. For most people, this could include walking briskly or participating in another aerobic activity for at least 30 minutes per day.
Before you start any exercise program, talk to your doctor. It is important that you wear a diabetes identification bracelet when you exercise.
- African American
- Hispanic American
- Pima Indians
- Native American
- Asian American
- Pacific Islander
Talk to your doctor about whether these preventive measures are right for you.
A Combination Approach
If your doctor has identified you as being at risk for type 2 diabetes, you may be able to lower your risk by:
- Drinking alcohol in moderation—This means two drinks per day for a man, and one drink per day for a woman.
- Taking medicine
- Making lifestyle changes (eg, exercising and eating a healthy diet)
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American Diabetes Association website. Available at: http://www.diabetes.org . Accessed February 12, 2010.
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11/29/2006 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance : Lindstrom J, Ilanne-Parikka P, Peltonen M, et al. Sustained reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes by lifestyle intervention: follow-up of the Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study. Lancet . 2006;368(9548):1673-1679.
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Last reviewed February 2010 by
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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