U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Indian Health Service: The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives
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Friday, December 19, 2014

Division of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention - Leading the effort to treat and prevent diabetes in American Indians and Alaska Natives


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Why is this important?

Family of four running among the red rocks of Jemez pueblo.
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NOTE: Access to this information is not restricted; however, the information found here is intended for use by medical providers. Some videos contain graphic images. Patients should talk with their medical providers about any specific concerns.

  • Physical activity is strongly associated with mortality and morbidity in type 2 diabetes, after controlling for obesity and other factors.
  • Lack of physical activity is a major cause of metabolic dysfunction and the morbidity and mortality of diabetes.
  • Significant weight loss requires considerable amounts of regular physical activity.
  • Substantial cardiometabolic benefits can occur at lower levels of physical activity than required for weight loss.
  • Therefore, any increase in physical activity may reduce cardiometabolic risk and improve health.

What is moderate and vigorous activity?

  • Moderate:  40-60% of aerobic capacity or 3-6 METs (requires a moderate amount of effort and noticeably accelerates the heart rate)
  • Vigorous: ≥60% of aerobic capacity or >6 METs (requires a large amount of effort and causes a substantial increase in heart rate)

Standards for Physical Activity

  Significant Weight Loss Reduce Risk of Diabetes*

Type of Activity

Aerobic

Aerobic

Intensity

Moderate

Moderate

Frequency

5 – 7 days/week

5 days/week

Duration

30 – 60+ minutes/day, progress to 300 minutes/week**

≥30 minutes/day, ≥150 minutes/week**

Kcal expenditure

2000 to 3000 kcal/week
40,000 - 60,000 pedometer steps counts/week**

1000 to 1500 kcal
20,000 - 30,000 pedometer step counts/week**

* May be accompanied with a small to very moderate weight loss

** These energy exenditures and step counts do not include activities of daily living.

 

When should an exercise ECG test be considered before beginning a physical activity program?

  • High-risk individual engaged in moderate or vigorous exercise
  • Moderate risk individual engaged in vigorous exercise
  • For more information see Exercise Program Screening
Overview How To Other Resources

Division of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention | Phone: (505) 248-4182 | Fax: (505) 248-4188 | diabetesprogram@ihs.gov