Researchers from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada assessed the effect of two weeks of inactivity and recovery on blood sugar levels. For their study, they recruited 22 overweight, prediabetic older adults. The participants reduced their daily step count to less than 1,000 each day, which is the equivalent of the walking most sedentary people would do. Then, they returned to their normal activities for another two weeks to recover.
The researchers measured the activity levels of the participants using pedometers and special monitors. They also measured the blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity of the participants at the beginning of the study, after two weeks of limiting their activity, and after a further two weeks of more active recovery.
Results revealed that being inactive boosted the development of Type 2 diabetes. Some participants weren't able to reduce their blood sugar levels even after returning to normal activities within the two-week recovery period. (Related: Managing Diabetes Through The Use of Exercise.)
Although the researchers expected the participants to become diabetic, they did not expect to discover that the participants failed to return to their healthier state when they returned to normal activity. The researchers also explained that inactivity affects muscle mass and strength, and increases the risk of insulin resistance. Nonetheless, increasing activity, eating the right foods, and making healthy lifestyle changes are essential for people with prediabetes to prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes.
The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests adults aged 18 to 64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week – but do you know why? Here are several more reasons why you should exercise regularly:
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