Got type 2 diabetes? This trick helps lower your blood pressure in just minutes.
New research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2015 reveals that diabetics who got up to move around every 30 minutes during a work day experienced up to a 12-point drop in their systolic blood pressure, the top number in a blood pressure reading. This change, over time, can reduce the risk of developing heart problems later in life which is prevalent among type 2 diabetes, such as heart disease or a heart attack.
You don’t need to do anything fancy either, say researchers: Just getting up to walk around is all you need to do.
“It appears you don’t have to do very much,” says Bronwyn Kingwell, Ph.D., co-author of the study and head of Metabolic and Vascular Physiology at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes in Melbourne, Australia. “We saw some marked blood pressure reductions over trial days when people did the equivalent of walking to the water cooler or some simple body-weight movements on the spot.”
The research, which was reported earlier last week, studied both men and women with an average age of 62 who were either overweight or obese, a risk factor for high blood pressure. They also had type 2 diabetes.
Then, for three separate days, participants ate a healthy breakfast and lunch while researchers measured their blood pressure levels several times throughout the day. However, every 30 minutes they took a few minutes to stay physically active in a specific way–some of them walked, for example, whereas others engaged in resistance activities.
Researchers then examined how these exercises affected their blood pressure.
As it turned out, it didn’t matter how they stayed active, as their blood pressure decreased as a result. However, it appears resistance activities helped decreased this number the most by 12 points (walking helped decrease it by 10 points).
Either way, it appears researchers have discovered an easy hack to keep blood pressure low for type 2 diabetics.
“This is the first study to examine effects of short intermittent bouts of light physical activity on Type 2 diabetes patients in a controlled lab setting,” says Kingwell. “Light activity breaks are not meant to replace regular, purposeful exercise. But they may be a practical solution to cut down sitting time, especially if you’re at your desk all day.”
What This Means For You
For type 2 diabetics, any small health problem can add up to bad news later on in life, and that’s especially true for high blood pressure. To keep your risk low, adding quick burst of physical activity throughout the day could be your best key to fighting this condition–and better yet, ti doesn’t matter what you do either. So get active: You have no excuse!
Readers: How do you like to stay active throughout the day?