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Walking found to benefit diabetics

Diabetics can help control their blood sugar levels simply by walking an extra 45 minutes a day, according to new research.

Experts at Newcastle University found that diabetics who walked at lunchtime or before or after work burnt about 20% more fat than those who did not take any extra exercise. Walking improved the way their muscles stored sugar and led to better control of their diabetes.

Dr Michael Trenell and Professor Roy Taylor compared 10 people with diabetes with 10 people in a control group and found that those who walked for an extra 45 minutes each day became better at burning fat.

"Over a period of weeks, this helped control their blood glucose levels," said Dr Trenell. "People often find the thought of going to the gym quite daunting, but what we've found is that nearly everyone with diabetes is able to become more active through walking.

"Even in this limited eight-week period we could see that people with type 2 diabetes were processing energy more efficiently, which meant that walking for 45 minutes more is an effective way to help improve glucose control."

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Newcastle University

Do you encourage diabetic patients to exercise regularly? Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

"Yes we encourage 30 minutes walking a day. If they can't manage 30 minutes we ask them to build it up gradually." - Carole Cadman, Dr Naeems Surgery

"I have seen equally impressive results.  We were considering insulin as the next step to improve glycaemic control for one man with a BMI >40, but referred him to "Active Lifestyles" (Exercise on Prescription) and his HbA1c is now - Kathy Howlett, Kingston upon Hull