Introduction

The Big Heart Disease Lie

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It is now widely accepted that increasing physical activity leads to great health benefits whether or not people have diabetes (1). Increased physical activity has been associated with physical, mental and social benefits including the following:

• Reduction in cardiovascular disease (CVD) including coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke and heart attack (4).

• Improved weight loss in the obese and weight maintenance in those of normal weight (6).

• Prevention of Type 2 diabetes and improved glycaemic control (7-10).

• Prevention of osteoporosis (11).

• Improved flexibility and strength (12).

• Increased self-esteem and confidence (13).

These benefits apply to all people whether they have diabetes or not, but the benefits of improved glycaemic control are especially appropriate to people with diabetes. In addition, a reduction in the incidence of CVD and the positive effect on body weight associated with physical activity can only benefit the health of people with diabetes.

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