Reducing the risk of having a heart attack is a priority for those at a high risk, such as those with diabetes.
A recent study shows that a mere 20 minutes of walking, each day for one year, can dramatically reduce the risk for pre-diabetics.
Recent research conducted on participants with a pre-diabetic condition known as Impaired Glucose Tolerance, or IGT, showed that about 20 minutes per day of walking, every day for a year, can reduce the chances of developing heart disease by at least 8%.
Participants were selected from various countries around the world, and those in different demographic and geographic regions.
Impaired Glucose Tolerance is known to affect nearly 350 million people in the world, and is expected to increase to nearly half a million people in the next 15 years, due to aging, poor diets and unhealthy lifestyle habits.
With this increase will come a significant increase in the prevalence of diabetes and heart disease, since "People with IGT have a greatly increased risk of cardiovascular disease," according to a lead researcher, Thomas Yates of Britain's University of Leicester.
Although this is a serious problem, there are steps you can take, literally, to help prevent developing full-blown diabetes and other health problems.
There have been many studies that correlate physical activity to health benefits, but this is a groundbreaking study that has shown the exact amount of walking that can reduce the chances of developing heart disease or other serious cardiovascular diseases and the number of deaths related to these conditions.
Over 9000 adults from 40 different countries around the world participated in the study. Each of the participants was known to have IGT, along with a diagnosis of heart disease or one factor placing them at significant risk.
Lifestyle changes were used to help the participants reduce their intake of dietary fats and promote weight loss, as well as the introduction of 150 minutes per week of walking. Pedometers were used to monitor the walking behaviours over the course of the year-long study.
Results were analyzed based on many factors, including BMI, whether or not the participant smoked, prescription medications used, and other things to balance the data. Results indicated that the chances of developing heart disease could be reduced approximately 10% for every additional 2,000 steps recorded by the pedometer.
Yates explains, "These findings provide the strongest evidence yet for the importance of physical activity in high risk populations and will inform diabetes and cardiovascular disease prevention programmes worldwide.”
These results further confirm previous studies that showed how much of an impact simple but regular physical activity can have on reducing the risk of many major chronic health conditions.
Further research should be geared toward helping to educate people on how to make healthy lifestyle choices to live longer, healthier lives.
SOURCES: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/12/20/for-pre-diabetics-just-2000-steps-day-cuts-heart-attack-risk/;http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/features/prediabetes-diagnosis-what-to-do;Image courtesy of vorakorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net