Brief bouts of walking or simple strength exercises can lower blood sugar and insulin levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

Scientists assigned 24 sedentary overweight or obese adults with diabetes to spend a day sitting for 8 hours or to break up the sitting with either a walk or with strength exercises for 3 minutes every half hour. The strength exercises were half-squats, calf raises, gluteal contractions, and knee raises.

On the days the participants did either walking or strength exercises, they had lower blood sugar, insulin, and C-peptide (a measure of insulin secretion). Only the strength exercises lowered triglycerides.

What to do:  Get up and move.

Source: Diabetes Care 39: 964.2016 Nutrition Action Health Letter July/August 2016