Insulin Resistance



Regular exercise does wonders on insulin resistance

Insulin is a hormone that is critical in the utilization of glucose by the body. Insulin induces receptors in the cells to pull sugar from the bloodstream into the cell. Insulin resistance is when the cells are unresponsive to the efforts of insulin. 

Your cells use the sugar to perform its function. When the cell has enough for its needs, it will be down-regulating the receptors by removing them from the outside of the cell. Consequently, the cell becomes indifferent to the efforts of insulin trying to distribute the available sugar.

With a constant supply of sugar on hand, like digesting more sugar when the glucose from a previous meal is not depleted, all the cells get satiated with enough energy. The glucose remains in the blood, and the pancreas releases more insulin, to get rid of it. This leads to overkill, desensitizing the receptors. Meaning that when the cell's energy is depleted, it would require a bigger amount of insulin to stimulate the receptors effectively. These sequences of events are what creates the state of insulin resistance, i.e. cells defying the efforts of insulin.


Ways to Reduce Insulin Resistance

The two fundamental non-pharmacological or recreational ways to promote insulin sensitivity are ingesting less insulin demanding foods plus more insulin resistance improving substances and to increase your energy expenditure. Added to that is to improve on some lifestyle habits, like sleep and meditation.


Physical Activity


Hippocrates on the value of walking

The effect of exercise is similar to the action of insulin on glucose uptake. Get moving today.

  • Have an attitude of life-long activity. Being sedentary will not do your insulin sensitivity any favours.
  • Walking can be quite powerful in reducing insulin resistance. Create a habit of walking of at least 10 000 steps per day, every day. Take a break every hour and walk for five minutes. Taking a walk after a meal is good for glucose control. Regular walking was found to have impressive effects on insulin sensitivity in obese men and women.
  • Training in the fasted state is even better for insulin response.
  • Hiking/training at altitude improves glucose tolerance.
  • Do a full-body workout to get all cells to replete its glycogen stores. An empty energy-starved cell is an insulin sensitive cell.To get to all the cells, high-intensity full body movements are needed, such as pull-ups, squats, push-ups, swimming, etc.


Diet


Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food

Reducing insulin Resistance with Diet and Exercise

For Contemplation

These recommendations are just a start, there are probably more ways to improve insulin response and more yet to be discovered. The thing to remember is that less insulin-demanding foods would reduce the effects of insulin resistance.

Learn more about insulin resistance and what to do about it from these excellent books: Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution and Blood Sugar 101.



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