Whether due to physical health problems, lack of free time, or lack of desire to engage in extreme exercise routines, many people simply don’t exercise. Because of this, America is the fattest nation in the world.
But you don’t have to beat yourself up in the gym in order to lose weight and stay healthy. Walking has been proven to provide amazing health benefits, and is much friendlier to your body than lugging weights around.
Research shows that brisk walking is just as beneficial for preventing diabetes as combined resistance and endurance type exercise, mostly because participants are more likely to stick with a structured walking regimen than a more physical exercise program.
The study consisted of 92 participants with type 2 diabetes, each within 9 years of age 60. Half were assigned an exercise regimen consisting of brisk walking for 60 minutes, 3 times per week, and the other half were given a more strenuous exercise program.
After a 12 month period, the participants were measured for diabetes symptoms, including hemoglobin and blood glucose levels, changes in blood pressure, plasma lipid concentrations, insulin sensitivity, body composition, physical fitness, program adherence rate and health-related quality of life.
In 12 months, both groups had similar attrition rates, as more than half of the participants dropped out due to physical overuse injuries and lack of motivation, but the interesting outcome is that those who simply walked briskly a few times per week had similar health results as those who worked out more fervently.
Researchers concluded that walking “represents an equally effective intervention to modulate glycemic control and cardiovascular risk profile in type 2 diabetes patients when compared with more individualized medical fitness programs.”
It’s easy to imagine why walking, and difficult exercises for that matter, are easy to lose interest in. But studies show that simply put, those who walk frequently tend to live longer, healthier lives.
We’re not meant to be sedentary, and sitting around does much more harm than good, as joints become dry and stiff, and muscles become weak, so it is important to get outside and walk 3 times per week. It can even help relieve symptoms of diabetes.