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Artificial Sweeteners Could Increase Risk of Diabetes


For years, diet sodas have been touted as a Read more

Proactive Legislation Improves Air Quality in NC


Air quality is easy to take for granted until Read more

Artificial Sweeteners Could Increase Risk of Diabetes

Lisa Feierstein breathe EZ, Diabetes Leave a comment  

sugarFor years, diet sodas have been touted as a healthy alternative to regular sodas, but scientists recently found that artificial sweeteners may be a risk factor for diabetes. Scientists studied a control and experimental group–mice drinking plain water, and mice drinking water that contained artificial sweeteners. They found that the mice consuming artificial sweeteners showed marked glucose intolerance because the artificial sweeteners alter the balance of gut microbes.

Researchers also conducted a trial with 400 people and discovered that those who consumed artificial sweeteners had “markers” for diabetes like higher blood sugar levels and glucose intolerance. Scientists leading the study said that artificial sweeteners may exacerbate glucose intolerance and diabetes; instead of being a healthy substitute, artificial sweeteners could make diabetes worse. The sweeteners used in the study were saccharin, sucralose and aspartame. Next time you reach for a diet soda, consider a potentially healthier alternative like sparkling water.


Proactive Legislation Improves Air Quality in NC

Lisa Feierstein Asthma, breathe EZ Leave a comment   ,

air qualityAir quality is easy to take for granted until we experience first-hand the effects of poor air quality. You can probably relate to driving with the windows down to let in the crisp, fall air, but that enjoyment abruptly ends when the exhaust of another vehicle wafts through your car. Fortunately, North Carolina is ahead of the curve on improving air quality, which is especially important for asthmatics.

Triangle Air Awareness, a public-private partnership between the North Carolina Division of Air Quality and the Research Triangle Regional Partnership, hosted their End of Ozone Forecast Season Luncheon last Friday to give the audience a snapshot of the state of North Carolina’s air quality. Speaker Sushma Masemore, PE, Division of Air Quality at the Department of Natural Resources, explained that the Research Triangle Region is meeting federal air quality standards. Masemore said that the NC legislature was ahead of the curve by enacting the Clean Smokestacks Act in 2002, which was an early action state mandate to control air pollution from coal-fired power plants.

Air quality has an effect on a variety of illness, like acute bronchitis, explained keynote speaker Dr. Kim Lyerly, professor of Surgery, assistant professor in Immunology, associate professor of Pathology, Duke University School of Medicine. Thanks to the Clean Smokestacks Act, Dr. Lyerly and his research team found a reduction in death rates for emphysema, asthma and pneumonia in NC. The research team, which published their findings in the International Journal of COPD, discovered a tight association between a reduction in pollutants and improvement in death rates related to air quality.

“The take home message for us is that we had such a forward thinking state…that they strictly adhered to a policy that reduced emissions in NC,” said Dr. Lyerly.

We will likely see even higher EPA standards in the future, but based on the proactive CSA, NC is up to the challenge.


Getting a Grip on Diabetes and Depression

Lisa Feierstein breathe EZ, Diabetes Leave a comment   ,

depressionDiabetes and its relationship to depression is a bit of a chicken and egg situation. Doctors and researchers don’t fully understand the relationship between diabetes and depression, but they do have some insight on how diabetes and depression can cause and exacerbate symptoms of each other.

Let’s start with diabetes. Managing diabetes can at times be overwhelming, it can lead to other health problems, and ultimately these stressors can cause symptoms of depression. On the flip side, depression can lead to diabetes if as a result of depression, an individual starts making poor eating choices, exercises less frequently, and/or smokes. These actions plus weight gain are all risk factors for diabetes. As depression worsens, it can affect a patient’s ability to focus and communicate clearly which in turn can make managing diabetes harder.

Since diabetes and depression often go hand in hand, it’s key to address your physical and mental wellbeing. Taking the right medications, seeking therapy, and healthy eating combined with frequent exercise are just a few methods to manage both depression and diabetes. If you need assistance managing your diabetes, call one of our caring professionals to handle your insulin pump, Continuous Glucose Monitor and testing supply needs.


Americans with Diabetes on the Rise

Lisa Feierstein Diabetes Leave a comment  

The number of Americans with diabetes and the cost of diabetes are on the rise according to the National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2014, from the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. In 2010, 26 million Americans had diabetes—that number rose to 29.1 million in 2014, or 9.3 percent of the U.S. population. Of those 29.1 million with diabetes, 8.1 million people have undiagnosed diabetes.

These statistics are troubling since the CDC estimates the total cost of diabetes has increased from $174 billion in 2010 to $245 billion in 2012, or a 41 percent increase in costs. These costs include medical expenses, disability, work loss and premature death.

NBC diabetes


Eat Better, Breathe Better

Lisa Feierstein Allergies, Asthma, breathe EZ Leave a comment   ,

fiberYou’ve probably heard it before—fiber-rich foods are an important part of a balanced diet. There’s a reason the saying goes, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”—we all want to “stay regular.” Scientists recently discovered another reason to have a fiber-rich diet and surprisingly enough it’s related lung health.

Researchers studied mice on three different diets—low-fiber, regular chow, or food with fiber supplements—and found that the mice with a high-fiber diet had a stronger resistance to asthma-like attacks. When mice on the low-fiber diet were exposed to dust mites, a known allergen, they experienced increased airway inflammation. The high-fiber diet mice showed a lesser asthmatic response to the dust mites.

Fiber supports gut bacteria that in turn produces anti-inflammatory molecules. When these molecules enter the bloodstream, they help regulate the immune system, which is important because an over-reactive immune system negatively affects allergies and asthma. Need more fiber in your life? Try foods like nuts, apples, bulgur wheat, kiwis, and chia seeds.


Increased Risk of Asthma Linked to Childhood Obesity

Lisa Feierstein Asthma, breathe EZ Leave a comment   , ,

scaleDoctors have long warned the public that obesity is linked to comorbidities like heart disease, adult onset diabetes and sleep apnea. Researchers at Kaiser Permanente Southern California discovered another obesity-related health problem for children—asthma.

The researchers reviewed the health records of 623,358 children and found that overweight and obese children were about 1.5 times more likely to develop asthma than children at a healthy body-mass index (BMI). The overweight and obese children with asthma also experienced more severe asthma symptoms, had to visit the doctor more frequently, and had to take more medicine.

The Kaiser Permanente Southern California study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, also stated that asthma affects one in 10 kids in the U.S. and the amount of children with asthma has more than doubled in the past 30 years. If your child has asthma, it’s important that they adhere to their treatment plan. This study also reveals another reason to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and to encourage your children to stay active and choose healthy foods.


Local Schools Required to Provide Students with EpiPens

Lisa Feierstein Allergies, Asthma, breathe EZ Leave a comment   , ,

schoolNorth Carolina students with allergies have reason to feel a bit more secure this fall. Effective Nov. 1, Governor Pat McCrory signed a law requiring K-12 schools to carry epinephrine autoinjectors (EpiPens) for students. Principals are also required to select at least one person at the school to be trained annually on how to identify allergic reactions and use EpiPens.

Although the state won’t fund the purchase of EpiPens, both public and private schools can apply to take part in a free distribution program called EpiPen4Schools. The program is run through Mylan Specialties and Bioridge Pharma, and participating schools can receive up to four EpiPens a year. Teachers can also receive training on recognizing allergy symptoms through advocacy groups like the Food and Allergy Research and Education (FARE) group.

In November 2013, President Obama signed the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Law, which provides funding incentives for states with their own epinephrine laws.


Respiratory Illness Affects Hundreds Nationally

Lisa Feierstein Asthma, breathe EZ Leave a comment   ,

test tubesEnterovirus D68, a respiratory illness, has recently led to the hospitalization of hundreds of children nationwide. Prior reports included North Carolina in the list of states affected, but the N.C. Health Department and Center for Disease Control stated that there are no confirmed cases of D68 in North Carolina. However, since 12 states are reporting cases of the illness, North Carolinians should be diligent about preparing for a potential outbreak.

The virus is more dangerous to asthmatics and children, and these groups should see a doctor if they experience wheezing in addition to cold symptoms. Doctors recommend frequent hand washing; keeping hands away from the eyes, nose, and mouth; and staying home if you’re sick as preventative measures against the spread of the virus. Unfortunately, there isn’t a vaccine available to prevent infection, but those affected by the enterovirus should stay home from work or school and get plenty of rest and fluids.


Don’t Sneeze Your Way Through the State Fair

Lisa Feierstein Allergies, Asthma, breathe EZ Leave a comment   ,

goatEvery fall there’s a veritable buzz about the North Carolina State Fair. Folks want to know which foods will be fried, which rides are the most exciting, and which local bakers can come up with the best pie. As you dig into a turkey leg and hit the rollercoasters, keep a few of these health tips in mind so your State Fair experience will be both fun and safe.

The petting zoo is a big attraction for children and families, but it can trigger a reaction for those with allergies and asthma. Animal dander can exacerbate asthma symptoms, so if you know you have an animal allergy, you may want to avoid the petting zoo. Parents of children with asthma should bring the appropriate medications in case their child has an allergy to animals that they’re not yet aware of.

In addition to irritants like animal dander, petting zoo animals can carry bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella. Fairgoers should also be diligent about washing their hands after visiting the petting zoo; especially if they plan on eating afterward. Visitors should avoid eating or drinking while walking through the petting zoo.

Fairgoers will also be exposed to thousands of other people that may present health risks. Plus, it’s hard to say if those other visitors are being diligent about hand washing. Pack hand sanitizer, any necessary allergy and asthma medications, and ask fair employees where hand-washing stations are located. By taking just a few simple precautions, you’re on your way to an exciting and safe time at the NC State Fair.


The 4-1-1 on Why Mouth Breathing Causes Health Problems

Lisa Feierstein breathe EZ, Sleep Leave a comment   ,

doctor and girlBreathing through the nose instead of the mouth is key for sleep apnea patients, but it’s also important for everyday health. Our noses are specially designed to filter impurities through nose hairs, and warm and moisten incoming air with the mucous membrane. The mucous membrane also makes mucus, which captures particles and germs. The mouth isn’t equipped to protect the lungs by filtering or warming air, so excessive mouth breathing can lead to ear and sinus infections, snoring, headaches, and other health issues.

Mouth breathing can also be a sign of sleep apnea since patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) tend to sleep with their mouths open. If you regularly wake up with dry mouth, approach your doctor to find out why you’re sleeping with your mouth open.

Some sleep apnea patients have trouble keeping their mouth closed even with CPAP therapy, but a chin strap can remedy that problem. A variety of chin straps of differing materials and sizes are available on the market so patients can select a strap that’s effective and comfortable.

For mouth breathers with sleep apnea, a full-face mask won’t keep your mouth closed but it should be used to insure CPAP therapy is effective. If you’re a mouth breather but prefer to use a nasal mask, you can use the chin strap to keep your mouth closed. Your sleep specialist can help you determine the right CPAP mask to use, and whether or not you should use a chin strap as well.


Unraveling the Link Between Childhood Eczema and Asthma

Lisa Feierstein Asthma, breathe EZ Leave a comment  

babyIf your child had a serious skin rash at an early age, and later developed asthma, they’re not alone. In the U.S., eczema, a condition that causes inflammation and irritation in the skin, affects 10 to 20 percent of children, and 3 percent of adults. Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis recently  discovered a connection between childhood eczema and the development of asthma.

Scientists were able to link atopic march, or the progression of eczema to asthma, to a molecule called thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP). Cells in damaged skin warn the body about the skin damage by secreting TSLP into the blood system. When TSLP travels to the lungs, it irritates the lungs in a way that’s characteristic of asthma.

Fortunately, the scientists conducting this study also found that early treatment of eczema may lessen the risk of developing asthma later on.  If your child has eczema or a severe rash, talk to their doctor about treatment options to reduce the risk of asthma later in life.


Sick Building Syndrome: Is Your Office Building Making You Wheeze?

Lisa Feierstein Asthma, breathe EZ Leave a comment   ,

sneezesSneezing, itchy eyes and nose…these symptoms sound like allergies, but they could be an indicator of sick building syndrome (SBS). If you have a frequent dry cough and often sneeze at work, it might not be a result of your asthma or allergies. Sick building syndrome (SBS) occurs when employees have acute health problems that are linked to the building, and not a specific illness.

The best way to identify if you’re experiencing SBS is to first take a mental or written note of your symptoms. In addition to itchy eyes, nose, or throat irritation; are you experiencing dizziness or nausea? Is there a certain room in the office in which you sneeze more frequently? Do these symptoms only occur or increase when you’re in the office?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, talk to your employer or the property manager about assessing the air quality in the building. Without proper ventilation and air filtration, you could be exposed to high levels of indoor air pollution caused by building materials and furniture that emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Mold and bacteria are additional irritants. If you have asthma, SBS can exacerbate your symptoms, so share your concern with your employer if you suspect SBS is a problem in your building.


Sleep Apnea Linked to Risk of Developing Osteoporosis

Lisa Feierstein breathe EZ, Sleep, Women's Health Leave a comment   ,

female doctorLack of sleep can cause more than dark under eye circles and a surly demeanor. Some more well-known risks from insufficient sleep are increased risk of stroke, obesity and diabetes, anxiety and depression, and heart disease. A new study by Taiwanese researchers showed that another obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) comorbidity is osteoporosis.

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism study found that new cases of osteoporosis were 2.7 times higher in OSA patients than those without the disorder, and the association was stronger in women and older adults. Sleep apnea’s deprivation of oxygen to the body was a factor in weakening bones. The study followed 1,377 people with OSA, and 20,655 people without OSA for six years.

 Managing OSA with a Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) machine is the best way to reduce risk factors like osteoporosis. Exercising, limiting alcohol consumption, not smoking, and a diet high in vitamin D and calcium are additional ways to prevent the onset of osteoporosis.


Turn Off Mute Mode and Talk to Your Allergist

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asian doctorPlenty of people suffer from “white coat syndrome” aka anxiety about talking to their doctor. A new study revealed that asthma sufferers often experience this anxiety about approaching their allergist.

A study in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology revealed that asthmatics are often afraid to ask their allergist questions or speak up when they have a problem. Stanley Fineman, allergist and past president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), found that only 8 to 13 percent of asthma patients keep refilling prescriptions for inhaled corticosteroids after a year. Patients may not realize that managing their allergies in a proactive, consistent way will have a big impact on their asthma symptoms.

 If you’re still experiencing white coat syndrome but know it’s time to talk to your allergist, try these tips to help you keep your cool before you visit your doctor. First identify what’s worrying you; if you identify what specifically is making you uncomfortable, it’ll be easier to address the issue head on. Consider taking a friend or spouse with you to help you relax in the waiting room. Finally, if you simply don’t have a great relationship with your doctor, ask friends and family for a recommendation for a different doctor.


What Asthmatics Should Know about Ozone Forecast Season

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dandelionBefore heading out into the sunshine, we know to lather up with sunscreen and pack plenty of water. But another important step is to check the ozone forecast; this is especially important for children, the elderly, those with respiratory diseases or heart disease, and asthmatics.

Ground-level Ozone

There are two types of ozone, but ground-level ozone is the one you should be concerned about. Ozone occurs naturally in the stratosphere, but ground-level ozone is created when nitrogen oxide (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) chemically react in the sunlight. Ground-level ozone comes from sources like cars and smokestacks.

Ozone Forecast

Ground-level ozone can exacerbate asthma symptoms, but asthmatics can monitor the ozone forecast each day to know if it’s OK to participate in outdoor activities. Elaine Loyack is the program coordinator for Triangle Air Awareness, an organization that helps Triangle-area residents and businesses stay informed about and help improve local air quality. Each summer, she reminds folks about the importance of keeping tabs on the local ozone forecast and to plan their outdoor activity level accordingly.

“Ozone forecast season is the time of the year when the risk for unhealthy levels of ground-level ozone formation is highest,” says Elaine. “In North Carolina, ozone forecast season runs from April 1-October 31.”

What the Ozone Forecast Means for Asthmatics

On unhealthy air quality days, asthmatics should limit time outdoors to the morning and early to late evening. Severe asthma sufferers should avoid the outdoors completely. Asthmatics should also reduce their level of activity, so if you normally run outside, choose a walk instead.

  • Code Yellow (Moderate)–dangerous for those suffering extreme asthma.
  • Code Orange (Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups), Code Red (Unhealthy), and Code Purple (Very Healthy)–dangerous for all asthma sufferers.

 

Ozone Forecast Resources

Asthmatics can monitor ozone levels by email, phone, the Internet, social media, and through a mobile app. Each day at 3pm, the ozone forecast is published for the following day so folks can plan ahead. Click here to sign up to receive the ozone forecast.


Part II: How to Lessen Asthma Symptoms by Addressing Indoor Air Quality

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thermometerIn Part I: How to Lessen Asthma Symptoms by Addressing Indoor Air Quality, I explained how improving indoor air quality with the right air filters is key to managing asthma symptoms. In Part II of this series, you’ll learn how to manage indoor humidity levels to prevent mold growth.

Checking  Humidity Levels

Air filters are great at capturing particulates that can exacerbate asthma symptoms, but asthmatics can also be sensitive to heat and humidity. Since high humidity can encourage mold growth, it’s best to maintain 30-50 percent (% RH) humidity levels year-round. Humidity levels are higher at night and first thing in the morning during the summer, so leaving the windows open at night can actually raise the humidity levels in your home. It’s best to leave windows closed in the summer unless the outdoor RH is about 50 percent.

Smart Thermostats

Some thermostats, like Sensi from Emerson Climate Technologies, will tell you your home’s humidity level both on the thermostat and through the companion smartphone app. Although use of air conditioning can help with dehumidification, there are times when it may not be sufficient and a whole-home dehumidifier will help close the gap.

Bath and Kitchen Fans

Kitchen and bath fans are also important for keeping humidity in check. Today’s modern fans are equipped with automation and controls to run the fan at the most optimal times. Controls or use methods can also be adapted to older installations. Be sure to run your bath fan for a half hour after taking a shower.

If you’re unsure about the humidity levels in your home, consult with your trusted HVAC technician or an indoor air quality specialist. They can help you determine if your current fans, thermostat and air conditioning unit are working efficiently or if there is a benefit to install new equipment.


Part I: How to Lessen Asthma Symptoms by Addressing Indoor Air Quality

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little girlVacuuming with a HEPA vacuum cleaner, dusting, and regularly changing bedding are all important steps to take care of allergens in your home. Asthma sufferers should also frequently change return air filters in their HVAC system to capture particulates; monitoring humidity levels in the home to manage mold is also beneficial.

Selecting the Right Air Filter

There are a few key components to look for in an air filter to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. Peter Kusterer, of Air Comfort for Homes, which specializes in indoor air quality (IAQ), recommends better performing 1″ traditional filters designed with low pressure drop (LPD) for your system. Select a pleated filter with a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) of 8, or better. Aprilaire and Honeywell are two brands that manufacture whole-home media air filters with a minimum MERV 11 rating that require less frequent replacement; in some cases, only once a year.

If you’re still experiencing discomfort after cleaning your home and changing your air filters, consider installing a whole-home media air cleaner that attaches to your HVAC system. Unlike a more traditional 1″ filter, a whole-home media air filter  cleans the air across a greater surface area. You can also move up to an electronic media air cleaner for an even higher MERV rating and efficiency. These filters will seem more expensive when compared to the traditional 1″ filter. Consult with your trusted HVAC technician or an indoor air quality specialist to determine if there is a benefit for you to install a whole-home media air cleaner.

Changing the Air Filter

Traditional 1″ filters will capture larger particulates and should be changed every 30 days. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendation of when to change the air filter.  When air filters aren’t changed regularly, your HVAC system has to work harder since particulate matter has built up on the filter and may restrict airflow. Set a reminder on your smartphone or calendar so you can easily remember when it’s time to change the air filter. Another quick tip is to write the “change by” date on the filter itself. Also consider running your system with just the fan on during high pollen count periods or when you have guests over. Using the fan, only, requires only the blower motor to capture particulates and can save energy when compared to running heating or cooling; you also capture airborne particulate that may have otherwise settled and is no longer capable of being trapped by the filter.

 In Part II of this series, I’ll explain how humidity levels can be monitored and managed to lessen asthma symptoms.


What’s in Your Mattress?

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mattressThere’s a lot more than stuffing and springs in your mattress, it can also be home to dust mites and other allergens like pet dander and mold. Although dust mites are invisible to the naked eye, these critters can exacerbate asthma symptoms and shouldn’t be ignored. About a quarter of Americans have allergies, and two-thirds of that group have dust mite allergies, according to allergist Dr. James Sublett.

What are Dust Mites?

Dust mites thrive in humid climates, and eat flakes of human skin, which settle in your mattress. They can also live in bedding, carpets, curtains and upholstered furniture.

Symptoms of Dust Mite Allergies

Individuals with dust mite allergies are allergic to the protein in dust mite feces and body remnants. Indicators of dust mite allergies are frequent nasal drip, sinus headaches, sneezing in the morning, and waking up with itchy eyes. If you’re not sure if you have a dust mite allergy, you can contact your allergist about taking an allergy test for confirmation.

Protection Against Dust Mites

Before you toss out your mattress and opt for a hammock, you can rest easy knowing there are a few simple ways to avoid irritation from dust mites. Wash your bedding weekly and consider investing in mattress and pillow covers that protect against dust mites. Hypoallergenic bedding can protect against pet dander, pollen, mold, dust mites, and other allergens. If you’re allergies are severe, you may also need to frequently clean curtains, carpets, and other upholstered furniture to minimize dust mite exposure.


Don’t Wheeze Your Way Through Exercise-Induced Asthma

activeadmin Asthma, breathe EZ, Women's Health Leave a comment   ,

exerciseIt’s often tough to work up the motivation to make a trip to the gym, but it’s even harder for those who experience asthma symptoms triggered by exercising. Post-workout, individuals with exercise-induced asthma, or exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB), may experience wheezing, coughing, and difficulty catching their breath. Active Healthcare Account Representative Janice Stewart shared with me her own experience with EIB, and explained which treatment was effective for her.

Ten years ago, Janice was diagnosed with pneumonia and her doctor gave her an inhaler as part of her treatment. Since then, she noticed that she would periodically have trouble with wheezing, usually after using the treadmill or sometimes when her daily allergy medicine wore off. Janice got relief by using her inhaler after her workout, but she remained curious as to the root cause of her symptoms. Several months ago over lunch, I happened to be chatting with Janice about exercise-induced asthma and she realized that EIB might be the cause of her post-workout breathing problems.

Janice met with her doctor who confirmed that her symptoms sounded like a case of EIB. Janice’s doctor prescribed a new inhaler and an additional allergy medication to go with her daily Zyrtec. She now has a more proactive approach to managing her exercise-induced asthma. Thirty minutes before working out, Janice uses her new inhaler and now only experiences issues if she’s doing an advanced cardio workout.

“With my new medication regimen I am able to now do exercises that increase my heart rate without having to sit down afterwards to wait for the wheezing to clear,” says Janice. “I can recoup a lot quicker.  I have also noticed that with the additional medications that my allergy symptoms have been more manageable as well.”

Janice’s advice for individuals who have trouble breathing after exercise is to pay close attention to what your body is telling you—don’t ignore your symptoms. Janice wishes she had seen her doctor sooner for treatment so she could have spent less time suffering through her workouts. ­


Yoga and Strength Training Reduces Risk of Diabetes in Women

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yogaIt’s common knowledge that regular aerobic exercise reduces the risk of diabetes, but a recent study revealed strength training, or anaerobic exercise, also reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes in women. The Nurses Health Study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that women who do strength training exercises just an hour a week reduce their risk of developing diabetes by 14 percent. Over 150 minutes of weekly conditioning exercises reduces the risk by 40 percent.

This study also showed that you don’t need to run off to the gym and grab the biggest dumbbell available. Exercises like yoga and stretching are also great diabetes prevention activities. Researchers aren’t sure why yoga and stretching are also beneficial to reducing the risk of diabetes, but they think it may be linked to the effect these exercises have on lowering the loss of lean muscle mass or on how the body processes glucose. An added benefit to building lean muscle mass is that you burn more calories when your body is at rest.

Health.gov recommends moderate exercise for 150 minutes (2 hours 30 minutes) a week (a little over 20 minutes a day), and doing strength training at least twice a week. If just the thought of going to the gym makes you sweat, start small. Fit 10-minute increments of exercise into your schedule and slowly build up to longer periods of activity.


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