Gardening, dancing and brisk walks could slash your risk of diabetes

Dr Amir lists diabetes symptoms

Type 2 diabetes is often the result of poor lifestyle choices, meaning that your risk of the condition is modifiable.

Worryingly, high blood sugar levels posed by the condition can stir up a whole host of health complications.

Fortunately, a study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, suggests that three simple activities could offer a shield against type 2 diabetes.

From gardening to dancing, certain forms of physical movement could slash your risk of the blood sugar condition by three quarters, according to the research.

The research team found that those who managed more than an hour of moderate to vigorous exercise a day were 74 percent less prone to the condition.

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What’s more, the risk of the blood sugar disease even decreased in those who were genetically vulnerable.

In fact, their susceptibility fell further than in individuals at low genetic risk who were inactive.

Senior author Professor Melody Ding, of Sydney University, said: “We are unable to control our genetic risk and family history.

“But this finding provides promising and positive news that through an active lifestyle, one can fight off much of the excessive risk for type 2 diabetes.”

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Looking at 59,325 adults from the UK Biobank, the Australian research team followed up participants, who wore accelerometers on their wrists to track physical activity, for up to seven years.

The findings showed that moderate to vigorous activity was especially potent for type 2 diabetes risk.

In case you aren’t aware, moderate-intensity physical activity describes movements that get you sweating and slightly out of breath, such as brisk walking and general gardening.

Furthermore, vigorous-intensity physical activity includes movement that makes you out of breath like running, aerobic dancing, cycling uphill or at a fast pace, and heavy gardening such as digging.

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Lead author Susan Luo, a PhD candidate, said: “I am so delighted to share our research results with a broad audience to let people know that physical activity is health-enhancing, especially for people with high genetic risk.

“If you have a family history of type 2 diabetes, or even if you don’t, today is the day to start being physically active.” 

The researchers added that the findings demonstrate higher levels of physical activity should be promoted as a major strategy for prevention.

Furthermore, this is the first study to show the genetic risk of type 2 diabetes can be counteracted by exercise.

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