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Why is exercise so important in preventing and controlling diabetes and high blood pressure?

Why is exercise so important in preventing and controlling diabetes and high blood pressure?

We asked members of our medical staff to answer some common questions they hear from their patients. Read Dr. Nathan Tracey's answer to: Why is exercise so important in preventing and controlling diabetes and high blood pressure?

Answer: Exercise makes you more sensitive to insulin, which helps decrease your glucose levels. Vigorous exercise can decrease your A1C (a measurement of blood sugar over time) by 1 point and blood pressure by 5-10 points. I recommend exercising five days a week, and the two days off shouldn’t be back-to-back.

Resistance training using your own body weight, such as squats, lunges and push-ups is a great way to work multiple muscle groups. The more muscles you use, the more sugar you burn, which can increase insulin sensitivity.

High blood pressure and diabetes are widespread health problems in the United States today. More than 50% of people over age 60 have hypertension, or high blood pressure; and diabetes affects more than 8% of the whole U.S. population and up to 40% of those are undiagnosed.

Dr. Nathan Tracey is a board-certified family medicine physician at the Campbell County Medical Group Family Medicine clinic in Gillette, Wyoming. The clinic offers healthcare for people of all ages, from pediatric to seniors. Learn more at www.cchwyo.org/family.

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