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Physical activity halves the risk of developing diabetes


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New research finds that physical activity reduced the risk of developing diabetes by 50% compared to people who did not adopt an exercise lifestyle.

According to the authors of the study published this Monday (30) in the journal Jama, there is already evidence of the advantages of exercises associated with a healthy diet in reducing the chances of having type 2 diabetes. But the new research sought to understand the isolated effect of physical activity .

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The first phase of the research consisted of 208 participants with obesity who adopted different physical activity routines. One of these groups was exposed to an intense physical exercise routine for a year. Another group was formed by people who adopted physical exercises in a moderate way. Finally, some participants were not submitted to a physical activity routine.

The physical exercise routine was focused on aerobic activities. For one year, participants were supervised by professionals to maintain the habit of physical exercise. The diet, however, should not be changed.

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After this first year, participants were advised to maintain their physical activity routine, even without direct supervision. The researchers then tracked the incidence of diabetes, participants’ weight, and waist circumference over two periods: two years after the first phase of the study and after ten years.

Not all participants continued in these other phases of the studies. In total, 195 had their data collected to observe changes two years after the first phase and 179 were in the follow-up that took place ten years later.

Ten years after the beginning of the research, it was observed that the incidence of the disease in the group that did not perform physical activities was about 4 cases per 100 people per year. For those who had an intense and moderate exercise routine, the rate was approximately half: 2 cases in every 100.

According to the authors, the reduction of about 50% in the rates of type 2 diabetes in these participants may be associated with an improvement in obesity control. It is already known that being overweight is an important risk factor for the onset of diabetes. When performing physical activity, this aspect is controlled more adequately, reducing the chances of having diabetes.

“Our results are in favor of physical exercise as an effective regimen for obesity control in order to delay progression to type 2 diabetes,” they state in the article.

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