Monday, August 27, 2007

Vigorous exercise prevents diabetes?

Let's move away from the fasting debate. Here is a more simple idea to grasp - vigorous exercise can reduce the incidence of diabetes. Diabetes is becoming an epidemic in the West (even for cats!) as people get fatter and less active. It is a terrible condition which can lead to a lot of other unpleasant problems.

However again it seems that simple physical activity can prevent it in many. This of course links to some of the earlier posts about the way in which exercise can promote insulin sensitivity.

As I get older I think my focus is gradually changing from how to be strong /lean / fast / look good to how to be well / healthy / functional. Exercise is so important simply to keep us healthy that is not right to restrict it to athletes or "keeping fit". It is about keeping healthy. As some of the other studies that I have posted to indicate, important metabolic benefits can occur without changes in body composition - you can get more healthy without looking any better! The perspective needs to be longer term, keeping well and active and healthy. Don't always focus on how you look.

Exercise can be simple too - you do not need complicated routines. Try some of the interval sessions at for example (The Programme) Add some balance work and maybe some pushups and you are on the way to something very effective.

Anyway, the abstract is here:

Changes in vigorous physical activity and incident diabetes in male runners
Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


Objective & Design: We examined the dose-response relationship between changes in reported vigorous exercise (running distance, km/wk) and self-reported physician diagnosed diabetes in 25,988 men followed prospectively for (mean±SD) 7.8±1.8 years.

Results: Logistic regression analyses showed that the log odds for diabetes declined significantly in relation to men's km/wk (coefficient±SE: -0.012±0.004, P<0.01), which remained significant when adjusted for BMI (-0.018±0.003, P<0.0001). The decline in the log odds for diabetes was related to the distance run at the end of follow-up when adjusted for baseline distance, with (-0.024±0.005, P<0.0001) or without (-0.027±0.005, P<0.0001) adjustment for BMI. Baseline distance was unrelated to diabetes incidence when adjusted for the distance at the end of follow-up. Compared to men who ran <8 km/wk at the end of follow-up, incidence rates in those who ran 8 km/wk were 95% lower between 35-44 yrs old (P<0.0001), 92% lower between 45-54 yrs old (P<0.0001), 87% lower between 55 and 64 years old (P<0.0001), and 46% lower between 65-75 yrs old (P=0.30). For the subset of 6,208 men who maintained the same running distance during follow-up (±5 km/wk), the log odds for diabetes declined with weekly distance run (-0.024±0.010, P=0.02) but not when adjusted for BMI (-0.005±0.010, P=0.65).

Conclusion: Vigorous exercise significantly reduces diabetes incidence, due in part to the prevention of age-related weight gain and in part to other exercise effects.

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