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As your heart ages, it become increasingly prone to heart disease. On average, even healthy adults lose 1 percent of their cardiovascular fitness every year. The situation is worse for people with type 2 diabetes: Their hearts are generally 20 percent lower in fitness than in people without diabetes. But researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine have discovered a way to turn back the clock and make your heart younger.
According to these scientists, premature aging of the heart can be offset with regular exercise. Their study demonstrates that three to five months of consistent exercise improves heart fitness in people with type 2 diabetes by up to 40 percent.
“In other words, these (heart) defects are not necessarily permanent,” says researcher Amy Huebschmann. “They can be improved, which is great news.”
People with diabetes tend to be too sedentary. As Huebschmann says: “People with diabetes are typically less physically active, but the majority of those patients say that their doctors told them to be active. There’s a disconnect between what patients know they should do and what they actually do.”
Huebschmann and other researchers are trying to develop motivational interventions to get people with diabetes to exercise more.
“Type 2 diabetes has a significant negative impact on health,” she says. “But that impact can be improved with as simple an intervention as regular brisk walking or other physical activity that most people with diabetes can do.”