Get Moving to Prevent Diabetes

Cardiorespiratory fitness may reduce diabetes, prediabetes risk

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Anyssa Garza, PharmD

(RxWiki News) Echoing what past studies have suggested, a new study found that being fit may send diabetes and prediabetes running.

Cardiorespiratory fitness — the kind you build up when you jog, bike or swim regularly — appeared to lower study participants' risk for prediabetes and diabetes over a 20-year period.

This study, conducted by researchers from the University of Minnesota, is the longest on this subject to date.

The researchers behind this study looked at 4,373 men and women. They measured these participants' cardiorespiratory fitness via a treadmill test at the start of the study and at several points throughout the study period. They also tested these participants for signs of prediabetes and diabetes.

Diabetes occurs when blood glucose (blood sugar) levels are too high. Untreated, diabetes can damage the eyes, kidneys and nerves. Diabetes may also lead to other harmful complications.

This study found higher fitness levels, even when body mass index (BMI) was adjusted, to be associated with a lower risk for developing prediabetes and diabetes. 

Before starting an exercise program, speak with your doctor. Your doctor can help determine the best exercise program for you. 

This study was published in the journal Diabetologia.

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and National Institute on Aging funded this research. The authors disclosed no conflicts of interest.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
May 17, 2016
Last Updated:
May 17, 2016