Around 26 million people in the US have diabetes, and nearly 80 million have prediabetes. This means 80 million new people who will likely develop diabetes if they don’t do something to prevent it.
Researchers show that lifestyle changes can significantly prevent type 2 diabetes, one of these changes being exercise.
They also claim that exercise can not only help prevent diabetes but also improve the health of those who already have the disease.
A 6-month study analyzed how moderate-intensity exercise affect people with diabetes. The results showed they all had a reduction in fat in the liver, abdomen, and around the heart.
This, in turn, reduces the risk of heart disease – the leading cause of death among those with type 2 diabetes. In fact, 65% of people with diabetes are estimated to die from stroke or some form of heart disease.
What’s even more impressive is that the participants in the study didn’t have to exercise a lot to obtain these benefits. They exercised between 3.5 and 6 hours weekly, which is a reasonable amount of exercise for most people.
What’s more, they gained these benefits only from exercise as they didn’t make any other dietary or lifestyle change. This shows how powerful staying physically active is when it comes to your health.
One of the best things about exercise is the quick results, providing almost instant benefits. Of course, there are long-term benefits as well, but the quicker ones will motivate you more.
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise published research which shows that a single session of moderate exercise improves your body’s glucose control and lowers the increase in blood glucose after eating.
Intensity is the key when it comes to exercise and treatment and prevention of diabetes. So, a slow walk in the near park is not going to help you, unless you’re morbidly obese.
To achieve the best results, you should do high-intensity interval training which involves short bursts of intense activity and longer time of recovery, repeated several times.
You should do this high-intensity interval training for 20 minutes, 3-4 times a week.
It will help you improve your insulin sensitivity, especially if you follow a low sugar/low grain, low processed diet.
Even though exercise should be a crucial part of your diabetes treatment, you should also pay attention to the food you eat.
That’s because insulin and leptin resistance is the root of the problem called type 2 diabetes, caused by impaired insulin and leptin signaling.
In fact, type 2 diabetes is entirely preventable and manageable disease if you take the proper measures to heal your body.
One research involved overweight or obese people with diabetes who had to reduce their calorie intake to 1,200 – 1,800 calories daily, and exercise for 3 hours a week as part of an intense program of exercise and diet.
What happened after one year is incredible. 11.5% of the participants didn’t need medication to control their blood glucose levels, or in other words, they no longer had diabetes.
This only confirms that diabetes is not a disease of blood sugar, but one arising from faulty leptin signaling and insulin resistance. And, both of these factors are closely related to exercise and diet.
Now that you know this, you’ll understand that the only way to reverse diabetes is to recover the normal leptin and insulin sensitivity in your body.
And, you’ll succeed achieving that only through proper exercise and diet. No drug can fix the insulin resistance and leptin signaling.
Leptin is the hormone responsible for your body weight and appetite. It’s produced in the fat cells, and informs your brain when, what, and how much to eat. This means that it also tells you when to stop eating.
In addition, this hormone tells your brain how to use the energy it has. So, it has a huge part in the accuracy of insulin signaling and your risk of insulin resistance.
On the other hand, insulin is responsible for storing the extra energy as glycogen or as fat – back up energy supply. So, its job is to store the extra energy for future needs, and not to reduce your blood glucose.
The reduction of blood glucose due to insulin is practically a “side effect” of this process.
That’s how these two hormones are connected. They make health-promoting or health-damaging cycle in the body depending on the food you eat. Consuming plenty of grains and sugar will raise your blood sugar and insulin, causing increased fat storage.
This means more leptin produced by the extra fat. When your leptin levels become chronically increased, you develop leptin resistance.
This means that your body is no longer able to hear the signals sent from the hormone indicating that you’re full and should stop eating. By increasing the fat storage, your body weight also increases, leading to insulin resistance.
What happens now is your body is completely deaf to the leptin and insulin signals, causing the development of diabetes and many other diseases.
To successfully treat your type 2 diabetes, you need to achieve the following three things:
We hope this article will motivate you to exercise more often, regardless if you have diabetes or not.