Want to Reduce the Effects of Diabetes? Get Moving

Want to Reduce the Effects of Diabetes? Get Moving

rsz_img_7586A new Johns Hopkins study shows that regular aerobic exercise provides great fuel (and efficiency) for the pumping heart. This is encouraging news for people who have type 2 diabetes, who also frequently have a high risk of heart disease.

“Diabetic people have elevated glucose and fat in the blood, explains lead researcher Miguel Aon, Ph.D. “They can have twice as much as a healthy person.” Each of these factors contributes to heart disease.

Exercise breaks up stored fatty acids, giving the diabetic heart the extra fuel it needs to function normally. “To our surprise, the heart improved performance in the presence of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) when there was a high energy demand,” Aon says. “If a person is exercising, the heart needs more energy, and energy is provided by fat.”

In the study, researchers gave double the normal fatty acids to type 2 diabetic mice and then used an adrenaline-like substance to stimulate their hearts to beat faster, mimicking stress or physical activity. They found the diabetic mice’s hearts improved their function to the same level as normal mice and also counteracted the negative effects of too much glucose.

This doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want if you have diabetes, but it does mean regular biking, swimming, running or walking will improve your cardio-vascular function and reduce your risk of heart failure.

Reprinted from Johns Hopkins Health.  For more valuable health insights, subscribe to this free quarterly print magazine.


For more information on managing your pre-diabetes or diabetes check out Howard County General Hospital’s classes including:

  • Living with Diabetes: If you’ve just been diagnosed with diabetes–or even if you have been living with diabetes for some time and would like to make a commitment to improve your health–this course will teach you how to change your habits and will give you practical, attainable solutions for staying healthy. Our diabetes specialists will not tell you what to do–instead they will empower you with information and design a diabetes management plan to fit your lifestyle. Living with Diabetes is a two-day, interactive, group course taught by an endocrinologist, diabetes nurse educator, dietitian, psychologist, podiatrist, and exercise specialist.
  • What is Pre Diabetes? Has your doctor told you that you have pre-diabetes or risk factors for developing diabetes? This program will answer your questions. Our certified diabetes educator and registered dietitian will teach you how to make changes to prevent or delay an actual diabetes diagnosis.


Click on the title for more information, visit www.hcgh.org/events or call 443-718-3000.