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Recreational Running and Type 2 Diabetes

Running may reduce risk of type 2 diabetes.

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Recreational running and diabetes

Here’s more support for the benefits of recreational running. Data analysis from more than 19,000 male and female adults over an average of 6.5 years showed that leisure-time running was linked with a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Runners had a 28% lower risk of developing the disease than nonrunners. And the risk was directly related in a linear relationship to the amount of weekly running time—those who spent the most time running had the lowest risk. This relationship also held true for other parameters like weekly distance (≥6 miles), frequency (≥3 times), total amount (≥540 MET-min) and speed (≥6.7 mph). Runners with the most significant protective effect were active 51–80 minutes per week, suggesting that it may not be necessary to achieve a 75-minute-per-week minimum, as recommended in the physical activity guidelines.

The study appeared in The American Journal of Medicine (2019; 132 [10], 1225–32).

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Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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