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Steady Exercise Beats
Back Diabetes After 40

Frequent and regular workouts are required by people over age 40 who use aerobic exercise to prevent or control diabetes if they want to get the full benefit of that exercise.

That finding comes from a Mayo Clinic study in the August issue of Diabetes.

Middle-aged and older people can't sustain increased insulin sensitivity produced by aerobic exercise, the study found. A decline in insulin sensitivity is normal as people age and that reduced insulin sensitivity makes them more prone to developing diabetes.

The study included 65 healthy, but mostly sedentary, men and women aged 21 to 87. They took part in a four-month aerobic exercise program where the intensity and length of training sessions increased over time.

Researchers measured the study subjects' insulin sensitivity, abdominal fat and enzyme systems involved in cellular energy conversion at the beginning of the study and again a few days after the final exercise session.

"The insulin sensitivity of younger people remained higher four days after exercising. But no increase was recorded in the middle-aged and older participants," lead investigator and endocrinologist Dr. K. Sreekumaran Nair says in a statement.

"The study found no close connections between increased insulin sensitivity in middle- and older-aged people and reduced abdominal fat or increased energy conversion," Nair says.

Both younger and older study subjects had reduced abdominal fat and increased enzymes involved in cellular production when they were evaluated after the exercise program.

"The [study] results may be helpful to pre-diabetic and diabetic patients and their health-care providers as they plan more effective exercise regimens," Nair says.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about diabetes.


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