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A simple way to improve cardiovascular health of children with type 1 diabetes

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Posted July 8, 2016

There is no denying that walking and other physical activity is extremely beneficial for our well-being and health. However, some conditions and lifestyle choices discourage people from walking daily. Now scientists from the University of Adelaide found that keeping count of steps and increasing physical activity of children with type 1 diabetes is much more beneficial than previously believed.

Children do not walk enough these days. Scientists say that some children definitely should walk more since a thousand extra steps per day may improve their cardiovascular health. Image credit: Gamesingear via Wikimedia, CC-BY-SA-3.0

Children do not walk enough these days. Scientists say that some children definitely should walk more since a thousand extra steps per day may improve their cardiovascular health. Image credit: Gamesingear via Wikimedia, CC-BY-SA-3.0

A lot of efforts of encouraging physical activity fail, because people do not want to work hard for long-term benefits. However, this study showed that as little as a thousand extra steps a day can help children with type 1 diabetes to improve their cardiovascular health. This is the first study of its kind to find correlation between daily steps and early signs of adverse cardiovascular risk in children with type 1 diabetes. It is hard to comprehend how little these steps are and how beneficial they are according to this new study. It has been proven that children who do choose to be more active significantly improved their blood vessel structure, which is very important in efforts to reduce risk of cardiovascular diseases.

These children really need to move more as lack of exercise affect their health more than that of healthy children. Dr Alexia Peña, lead author of the study, noted: “Children with type 1 diabetes often report lower physical activity levels than recommended for children of the same age. We also tend to see early signs of atherosclerosis – a build up of plaque in the arteries – and other adverse cardiovascular risks at an earlier age than usual for these children”.

Current situation does not inspire optimism, as it was found that 55% of the children take less than 10 thousand steps per day. Taking just a thousand extra steps every day would help reducing their weight, blood pressure and triglycerides, all of which is important numbers accounting for the risk of various heart diseases.

It is a very well-known fact that children should move more. However, there are some children, who should spend some extra time taking care of themselves because of certain conditions that they happen to have. It is important to encourage children to exercise and inform their parents of all the benefits that simple extra steps every day provide for their health.

Source: adelaide.edu.au

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