Walking is one of the best and cheapest exercises you can do on a daily basis. Not only can it improve circulation, but it can also reduce the risk of diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity.
It’s not just about walking, though. A new study reported by MedicalNewsToday.com shows that where you walk affects your well-being.
Recently published in the journal, Diabetes Care, the study focused on new immigrants, noting that those who relocated to non-walkable neighborhoods were 50 percent more likely to have diabetes than long-term occupants who lived in well-planned areas.
Observing residents of Toronto, Canada, who were between the ages of 30 and 64, researchers picked out those who did not have diabetes and followed them for five years to see if the risk increased depending on where they lived. Including environmental factors such as population density, destinations within a 10-minute radius, and street connectivity, researchers found that those who lived in suburban areas with a reliance on cars, as well as those who lived in neighborhoods with badly connected streets, had more risk of developing diabetes.
"Although diabetes can be prevented through physical activity, healthy eating, and weight loss, we found the environment in which one lives is also an important indicator for determining risk," says lead study author Dr. Gillian Booth, an endocrinologist and researcher at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, Canada.
This is not to say that you need to move out right away if you live in a badly planned neighborhood. If your area isn’t favorable for brisk walkers, joggers, and bikers, simply find a place where you think it’s safe and conducive to exercise. Need suggestions? Drop by GIRLTalk and consult with your fellow FNites for ideas on where best to start. As long as you have the proper mindset, you won’t have any trouble fighting diabetes--or any disease, for that matter.
(Photo by tedeytan via Flickr Creative Commons)