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Exercise, Diabetes and Heart Disease

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You probably know that exercise has a lot of benefits for people with diabetes—it can help lower blood pressure, it helps make your body use insulin more efficiently and it can help control cholesterol levels. A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows an additional reason to exercise: it appears that exercise can actually help prevent damage to blood vessels and the heart, damage that diabetes can cause.

Arteries need to be able to expand and contract, but excess sugar in the blood tends to make them less flexible than they need to be. Exercise helps arteries retain the ability to expand and contract, and this provides some protection for the heart.

Talk with your doctor about beginning an exercise program, and try to build up to at least 30 to 45 minutes of walking, swimming, cycling, etc., nearly every day.

Source:
Journal of the American Medical Association, 2 October 2002



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