Walk Off That Sugar

Couch potatoes take note, especially those with type-2 diabetes—exercise may be the best way to manage your blood sugar. So what’s new about that? Anyone diagnosed with diabetes knows (or at least has been told) to lose weight, watch what they eat, quit smoking, and get regular exercise. But those same people will tell you how hard it is to make all those changes simultaneously. So the big question is, which one has the most effect on blood sugar?

In the journal Diabetologia, researchers recently reviewed 103 studies involving more than 10,000 people and found that studies advocating exercise alone lowered blood sugar levels two times better than those testing multipronged approaches. But don’t think that means you face hours-long workouts or sessions with a drill-sergeant personal trainer—studies investigating those approaches showed no better results than regimens specifying less exercise time and group sessions.

The trick, of course, is to get started. Take a stroll after dinner, park at the far end of the lot and walk to the store, take the stairs when you can—and as you get stronger (and feel better), you can increase your level of activity.