Exercise is essential for a positive, happy and healthy life and all the studies in this modern-day society show this. As we know a regular exercise regime paired with a good balanced diet lead to less prevalence of chronic disease and overall improves our quality of life over our entire lifespan. Yet the numbers of chronic disease and health issues due to poor det and sedentary lifestyles continues to rise?
One of the main and common illness's we see in society today is Type 2 diabetes and also insulin resistance. I'm sure we have all heard of these and know of someone or may even have these issues ourselves! The reason I want to talk about the pair in this article is that they are so easily treated by exercise and once we are educated how to treat and prevent these diseases it becomes all clear why you hear us and medical health care professional's talk about why exercise is so good for such illness's!
What is diabetes and insulin resistance?
As we may of hard many of times before when we eat carbohydrates this causes a spike in our blood sugar levels , in order for the these blood sugar levels to be maintained at a healthy level a hormone called insulin comes in and initiates the synthesis of this glucose to turn it into glycogen and store it in our muscles and liver so it can be used as energy (a good process that we want to occur). If our glycogen stores are already full this excess glucose in our blood is then converted and stored as fat (a bad process that we don't to occur).
These two processes can be monitored by an adequate diet to ensure our glycogen stores are not full and we are not consuming more energy than we are expending which will cause our bodies overall energy balance to shift and result in weight gain.
Diabetes is a chronic medical condition relating to sugar and blood glucose levels in the blood. Type 2 diabetes specifically is when your body's cells have a poor insulin response and in the later stages of the disease are unable to produce sufficient insulin. As stated above Insulin is produced by the pancreas post a blood glucose spike to move the glucose out of the blood and store it as glycogen in the liver and muscles for energy. If insulin isn't responding as well or less is produced this in turn can lead to elevated levels of blood glucose in the bloodstream. With this excess glucose in the blood and insulin not performing efficiently this glucose has no other choice but to be stored as fat. Insulin resistance in turn is when your cells in your body start resisting or ignoring the signal that the hormone insulin is trying to send out which is grab that glucose and store it as energy in our muscles and liver! Also resulting in this excess glucose in blood which will be stored as fat.
The power of exercise!
What I find so interesting is the power of exercise in preventing and treating these illness's and which I think a lot of more people should know about today's society!
Exercise can increase blood glucose uptake independent of insulin! During exercise glucose uptake is seen to increase due to muscle contractions and muscles needing energy for the task at hand. Again, positively effecting our energy balance and limiting what we store as fat. This is all independent as insulin and this glucose uptake can increase 50-fold during exercise. So, if we have issues in our body where our insulin is down regulated or not effective exercise is an amazing way to keep this process happening in our body to maintain weight and also keep ourselves healthy! This glucose uptake independent of insulin can also be seen to continue several hours after our exercise session also!
Also, as we exercise our body is also breaking down glycogen from our stores and using them for energy. Our body is constantly trying to replenish these stores post exercise, if insulin is available this is what our body wants to use. Therefore, insulin sensitivity is highly increased due to exercise and this in turn can help a lot of people increase insulin sensitivity to get this process happening effectively in their body!
Overall the key metabolic reasons and why exercise is so good is preventing and treating type 2 diabetes is, It stimulates glucose uptake independent of insulin! , Stimulates glycogen synthesis (breakdown into glucose) and improves insulin sensitivity. All are stimulating our body to use this glucose or store it as glycogen (which we use as energy) and NOT FAT. Resulting in the ability for these individuals with these issues to be able to live happy healthy lifestyles and effectively manage their weight and treat these issues easily and effectively! Not to mention all the other amazing benefits exercise has which will be discussed in future articles!*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.