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How Walking Reduces Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Introduction

In the quest to combat type 2 diabetes, many turn to medications like Metformin for help. However, recent studies suggest that a simple, accessible activity — brisk walking — might be even more effective in reducing the risk of developing this chronic condition. This article delves into the compelling evidence supporting the power of walking, particularly at a brisk pace, in lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes.

The Power of Brisk Walking

Walking is often underestimated as a form of exercise, but its benefits, especially for preventing type 2 diabetes, are significant. A notable study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine highlights this point. The research found that walking at a brisk pace can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by over a third. This suggests that even moderate increases in walking speed can lead to substantial health benefits, potentially surpassing the effects of some diabetes medications like Metformin​.

Key Findings from the Study

  1. Reduction in Diabetes Risk: The study demonstrated that individuals who engage in brisk walking regularly have a significantly lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those who do not engage in such activity. Specifically, the risk reduction was found to be over 30%, which is a remarkable figure when considering the prevalence and impact of diabetes​​.
  2. Impact of Walking Speed: Increasing walking speed, even by a small margin, was associated with notable health benefits. The research indicates that it’s not just the act of walking, but the intensity of the walking that matters. Brisk walking, as opposed to walking at a leisurely pace, is crucial for achieving these health benefits​.
  3. Comparison with Medications: Perhaps most striking is the comparison with diabetes medications such as Metformin. The study suggests that brisk walking can be more effective than Metformin in reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This finding is supported by additional research from the University of Kansas Medical Center, which also points to the superior benefits of physical activity over medication for diabetes prevention​.

Why Walking Works

Walking, especially at a brisk pace, helps in several ways:

  1. Improves Insulin Sensitivity: Regular physical activity like walking enhances the body’s ability to use insulin effectively, which helps maintain normal blood glucose levels​​.
  2. Weight Management: Walking helps in burning calories and managing weight, which is a critical factor in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Excess body weight is a major risk factor for the development of diabetes​​.
  3. Cardiovascular Health: Brisk walking improves cardiovascular health by increasing heart rate and circulation, which are important for overall metabolic health​.

Practical Tips for Incorporating Brisk Walking

  1. Set Realistic Goals: Start with manageable goals such as walking 10-15 minutes a day and gradually increase the duration and intensity.
  2. Choose the Right Environment: Find safe and enjoyable places to walk, such as parks or walking trails, to keep the activity enjoyable.
  3. Use Technology: Utilize fitness trackers to monitor your steps and walking speed, which can help in maintaining a brisk pace and tracking progress.
  4. Make It Social: Walking with friends or joining a walking group can make the activity more enjoyable and keep you motivated.

Conclusion

Brisk walking is a simple, yet powerful tool in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. With evidence suggesting it can be more effective than medications like Metformin, it is clear that increasing your walking pace can lead to substantial health benefits. Incorporating brisk walking into your daily routine is not only feasible but also highly beneficial for your long-term health.

For more personalised advice and to start your fitness journey, visit us at CMB Gym or contact our team directly. Let’s walk towards a healthier future together!

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