How many people do you know who have diabetes? Chances are almost everyone knows someone who has it, whether or not the person is aware of it. With November being National Diabetes Month, we want to remind our friends what they can do to prevent it.
Diabetes does not just appear overnight. The dark force hiding behind diabetes is a creeping condition known as insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is when the body, though producing insulin, no longer uses it effectively. This dangerous condition develops slowly and silently for years. Muscle cells, liver cells, and fat cells no longer work the way they should.
Insulin Resistance: Resisting its Rise
Although many factors come in to play, one of the most important things you can do to combat this silent enemy is to exercise. Effective exercise does more than just build muscle and make you look good. It improves the way your cells metabolize fats and sugars and maximizes your body's use of insulin. Studies have shown that insulin sensitivity improves even after a single bout of exercise. The American College of Sports Medicine recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise each week or 90 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise each week. How do you measure up to these recommendations?
According to a study published in the journal Diabetes Care, a combination of aerobic exercise and resistance training is much more effectie in combatting insulin resistance than either one alone. Since skeletal muscle alone is responsible for 75-90% of glucose uptake from blood, exercises like weight lifting can help stimulate muscles.
Fuel up before, during, and after your workout to keep your body working efficiently. You can't maximize your workout driving a "car" on empty. You'd be wasting your workout. What's worse is an empty "gas tank" forces your body to break down amino acids in your muscle to convert to glucose for energy. Instead of burning fat, you're breaking down the very muscle tissue that is supposed to help you fight insulin resistance.
As early as 2 hours before your workout, hydrate with water and fuel up on a healthy carbohydrate and quality protein. Don't forget to continue hydrating yourself during your workout. If your workout is vigorous or longer than an hour, a healthy carbohydrate every 30 minutes or so can generally help you avoid that protein breakdown we just discussed.
When your workout is over, complete muscle recovery is crucial. An easily absorbed protein source like EnergyFirst shakes is a must for refueling your tank. EnergyFirst shakes can help cover all bases - you get a high amino acid profile, unprocessed carbohydrate, a satisfying and hunger-fighting source of fiber, and a healthy source of raw fats and oils.
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