The Exercise Edge
UNLESS you've avoided reading a newspaper or switching on a television in the last 20 years, you can't help but know that exercise is being championed as a cure-all, fountain of youth, and the key to long life. While initially this enthusiasm was taken to extremes, with its promoters recommending an exercise regimen unrealistic for most people, it is clear that regular physical activity provides advantages to health that cannot be maintained through any other life-style change. One of its benefits may be a lower risk of developing diabetes or delaying its onset.
To understand the importance of exercise in preventing this disorder, we should look again to the Pima Indians for an example. Before this century, they, like other Native Americans, took their sustenance from the land—cultivating and harvesting crops, hunting and migrating according to the seasons and the availablity of game. Their lives were habitually full of physical activity. Later, when resettled on government reservations, they had few opportunities to pursue their traditional way of life. A few decades of this markedly more sedentary existence undid centuries of