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Fight Insulin Resistance With Physical Activity. You Can Win This Battle!

One of the best ways to fight insulin resistance is with physical activity. If you want to know more about insulin resistance read my previous blog "Insulin Resistance. What is it? What Can I Do to Prevent or Reverse It?" Exercise has been proven to improve insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake.  All forms of exercise are beneficial, aerobic, resistance training, even simply increasing your daily activity level can be sufficient.  Physical activity helps in two ways. First When you move your body, your muscles and other tissues require glucose for energy, resulting in more glucose being taken in and used instead of your body deciding to store it for later use. When your muscles are contracting much less insulin is needed to remove the glucose from your bloodstream. This helps your insulin levels stay lower. Second, the larger your muscle mass is, the more glucose you require for activity.  Weight training is a great way to help with this. By simply having larger muscles the same activity now requires more glucose therefore less insulin is needed by your body so your insulin levels will remain lower even if eating the same and maintaining the same activity level. 

 If you’re wondering why glucose levels and insulin matter, keep reading...

When your body has too much glucose it stores it away for later. Your body stores excess glucose in your liver as glycogen, then stores some for future needs in your muscles. When these two storage tanks are full your body makes fat to store more reserves in. Therefore, any additional glucose turns to fat. Your body needs insulin to make this all happen. The more glucose that is in your bloodstream a greater amount of insulin is needed. When insulin remains high for extended periods all these cells become resistant to it, eventually your body can no longer remove enough glucose from your blood, blood glucose remains elevated and type II diabetes develops.  The more you move the more glucose is used and the lower your insulin level remains. Therefore, less needs to be stored away as fat.

One of the main jobs insulin has is it tells the body to stop burning fat and store it instead. The higher your insulin level is the stronger the signal of “stop burning fat and keep storing it” is. When you have a chronic elevation in insulin level this puts your body into fat making mode.

This is why for weight loss it is so important to understand how to keep your insulin level in a healthy range.

Try this! After eating a meal go on a walk and notice how you feel compared to how you usually feel after a meal. Most people feel a significant increase in energy just by simply walking for 20 minutes at a light to moderate pace after eating.  The more you work out the more sensitive you become to insulin.

For your body to start burning fat for energy you need to first empty your storage tanks (liver and glucose in muscles). A great way to do this is exercising when you first wake up before breakfast. Since you’re in a fasting state your body does not have as much glucose in your bloodstream to use. As your muscles demand glucose, your body will start to release what it has stored away. Once those reserves are depleted your body will start to break down fat for fuel. Be in tune with your body, not everyone can exercise without available fuel, talk to your healthcare provider before starting any exercise program. Make sure you are cleared for activity before trying this.  If you are not currently active start with your exercise being just a slow-paced walk and gradually increase as able.


Disclaimer: This information is not intended to replace treatment from your professional health care team. Use this information at your own risk and judgement. If you suspect you have a medical condition you should seek professional healthcare help. This information is intended to help guide you to achieve better health. 

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