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Engaging in regular physical activities is a good and efficient way of preventing diseases, especially diseases such as diabetes mellitus, stroke and heart-related diseases. These diseases can be easily prevented by exercising frequently. However, the question is, how much exercise does one need to do, to prevent this kind of diseases? This question will be answered in the later part of this article. It’s imperative to know some important things about these diseases.

  1. Diabetes mellitus

Diabetic Mellitus is a metabolic disorder, in which there is hyperglycemia, also known as high blood sugar, over a long time. Diabetes mellitus has many causes, which ranges from autoimmunity, and the patient might also experience insulin resistance.

Diabetes mellitus comes with 3 main symptoms, and these are frequent and excessive urination, also known as polyuria, polyphagia (increased hunger), and polydipsia (increased thirst). Diabetes predisposes the body to a number of other diseases, such as hypertension, and coronary heart diseases. This disease has complications, which can be divided into two parts. There are

  • Acute complications- Examples of diabetes mellitus includes the following diabetic ketoacidosis, hyperosmolar hyperglycemic state. These different complications can eventually lead to death if not well controlled. On the other hand;
  • Chronic complications- Include the following conditions diabetic foot ulcer, neuropathies such as a feeling of tingling in the foot and in the hand, retinopathy, stroke in severe cases, coronary heart diseases and generally cardiovascular problems.

There are different types of diabetes mellitus, however, the most popular ones include Diabetes mellitus 1, diabetes mellitus 2, gestational diabetes and so on.

Diabetes mellitus type 2: This is the most common type of diabetes mellitus. and It’s mostly caused by insulin resistance. However, if the disease is not well managed, and allowed to progress, a lack of insulin might also ensue. This type of diabetes is also known as adult-onset diabetes. This type of diabetes is mostly caused by excessive weight, especially when fat accumulates in the abdomen.  Obesity is most times accompanied by Diabetes mellitus. The first line of management is diet and change in lifestyle, which is why engaging in physical activities is good. This helps to prevent the development of this kind of disease. The more exercise one does, the less the risk of having this kind of disease. In addition, sticking to a healthy food plan significantly reduces the chances of having this disease. However, in cases where lifestyle modification and diet changes do not work, then physicians would usually prescribe anti-diabetic medications. Examples of this kind of drugs include sulphonylureas, Biguanides and so on.


How Much Exercise Is Needed To Prevent Diabetes Mellitus?


A diabetic patient, especially one with the Type 2 diabetes mellitus, should aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise for at least 5 days a week. This is according to the American Diabetes Association. However, patients should consult their physician before embarking on exercises. Patients who have not exercised in a long time, would need to start slow, then increase the intensity of their exercise over time. Another factor to consider is age. Elderly diabetic patients should engage in light exercises, such as walking down the street, swimming and so on. Studies have shown that the best exercise to engage in, is the combination of both exercise and resistance training. In addition, taking about 10,000 steps per day is equal to five miles. So monitoring the number of steps you take per day is vital. Taking long walks would help to achieve this goal.

  1. Stroke

Stroke is a condition in which there is an insufficient flow of blood to the brain. It is one of the most leading causes of death in the world. Body tissues and cells begin to die when they don’t receive a good supply of oxygen, however, the duration in tissues differ. As an illustration, brain cells begin to die off in less than five minutes of no oxygen supply. The brain cells that don’t receive sufficient oxygen begins to die off.

There are two main types of stroke. These are ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. The signs and symptoms of stroke may include an impairment in movement or a paralysis of a side of the body, also known as hemiplegia. In addition, people that have a stroke may have problems with cognition, and also find it difficult understanding people. Most symptoms of stroke are irreversible.

There are two types of stroke, and these are

  1. Ischemic stroke: The occurs when the brain or some parts of the brain does not get enough oxygen it needs to function. Most times, this could be as a result of substances blocking the vessels. These substances could be fat plaques, blood clots, atheromatous substances, clumps of bacteria or their remnants, thrombus, and embolus etc. Naturally, ischemia occurs when a tissue does not get sufficient oxygen and nutrients to function. The same applies to the brain, except that the brain cells start dying, just in about less than five hours. Stroke affects the cognition, movement, speech, and memories of individuals affected. In severe cases, it can lead to the paralysis of a section of the body.
  2. Hemorrhagic stroke: This occurs when there is bleeding in the arteries of the brain. This can be due to rupture of an aneurysm. Berry an aneurysm is the most common one in the brain, and it occurs in the anterior communicating arteries. The rupture of any vessel in the brain lead to fluid accumulation, and subsequently, the compression of important parts of the brain and other blood vessels. This loss of blood and associated compression on the brain and other vessels can lead to stroke and death if not controlled promptly.

What Causes Heart Disease?


Most heart diseases are caused by atherosclerosis, which is the deposition of fat plaques and other materials in the vessels. Regular exercise, especially aerobic exercise, is one of the best things a heart disease patient can do for him or herself. It also helps in reducing the chances of getting a heart disease in the first place. However, if you’re not active now, it’s important to consult your physician before engaging in high-intensity exercises. Averagely, an aerobic session of about 20 minutes to half an hour, done 3 to 4 times a week would suffice. Although, the more you exercise, the better for you.

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How much of the world do you need for meaningful clinical trials?. (2011). European Heart Journal, 32(24), pp.3057-3063.

Slattery, M. (1996). How Much Physical Activity Do We Need to Maintain Health and Prevent Disease? Different Diseases-Different Mechanisms. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 67(2), pp.209-212.