How Lack of Physical Activity Greatly Increases Your Diabetes Risk
December 16, 2018 | 2,019 views
By Dr. Mercola
As more and more people are being diagnosed with diabetes, it’s more urgent than ever to find a way to fully combat this disease, which the World Health Organization (WHO) already predicts may be the seventh leading cause of death by 2030.
There is increasing research on the ways you can reduce your diabetes risk. For one, ensuring that you get enough physical activity may play a large role in lowering the risk of diabetes, and even other chronic diseases.
Experts Agree: Inactivity Plays a Role in Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance occurs when your body isn’t able to listen to signals delivered by the energy-regulating hormones insulin and leptin. If an organ becomes insulin resistant, chronic metabolic disease may develop.
Insulin resistance is arguably one of the main reasons why about 52 percent of Americans are already prediabetic or diabetic.
A main catalyst for the development of insulin resistance is a sedentary lifestyle, or being inactive for less than 30 minutes a week. Dr. James Levine, co-director of the Mayo Clinic’s Obesity Initiative and author of “Get Up! Why Your Chair Is Killing You and What You Can Do About It,” says that even if you do make an effort to exercise regularly, sitting for long periods of time may greatly increase your risk for chronic disease and premature death.
Prolonged insulin resistance triggers a shutdown or blockage of certain insulin-mediated systems, such as muscular and cellular systems responsible for processing blood sugar, triglycerides and cholesterol. On the flipside, increasing the amount of time spent standing up and bearing body weight on your legs can activate all these aforementioned systems at the molecular level.
How to Jumpstart Your Exercise Routine if You’re Diabetic
Doing your own research is crucial when conceptualizing an exercise routine that'll fit your lifestyle. If you are diabetic, keep a diary that'll allow you to monitor your food intake, insulin use, blood glucose levels and current exercise habits. With these factors in mind, be vigilant toward changes in your glucose levels vis-a-vis your carbohydrate, fat and protein consumption, and current exercise levels. The results may help predict your glucose levels as you begin working out.
Aerobic exercises tailored to your current physical fitness abilities are some of the most ideal for your condition. You can also try incorporating fun activities such as gardening, gentle walking or dancing. While these aren't necessarily considered aerobic exercises, these may significantly impact blood glucose levels when done consistently for a long time.
If your fitness levels are at its optimal state, you can also try high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts like the Nitric Oxide Dump, which can provide you with other health benefits.
Regardless of the type of workout that you plan to do, avoid doing them alone and always exercise with a partner, especially someone who can recognize indicators of low blood sugar levels and knows how to address them swiftly, so you can stay safe while working out.
If you plan to do high-intensity workouts, enlist the help of a physical trainer or coach who can guide you on the proper form and movement of steps, thereby lowering your injury risk.
Why Nutritional Ketosis Complements Physical Activity
Consuming a high-fat, low-net carb and low- to moderate-protein diet allows your body to constantly maintain nutritional ketosis and optimize metabolic and mitochondrial function. In the long run, nutritional ketosis may positively impact your weight by prompting the body to burn fat as its primary fuel and induce weight loss, assist with promoting longevity, and aid in hormone regulation to name quite a few.
Eliminating most sugars and starches (net carbs) from your diet and replacing these with healthy fat options is crucial in promoting nutritional ketosis. Before doing so, determine both your blood glucose and your ketones (via urine, breath or blood tests), since these can help determine if you’re in ketosis or not. Blood ketones within the range of 0.5 to 3.0 millimoles per liter (mmol/L) are arguably the most ideal.
Checking glucose and blood ketone levels is also needed to determine your personal carb target so your body can go into nutritional ketosis. While some people can already move into nutritional ketosis with a net carb dietary intake of 20 to 50 grams or less daily alongside low- to moderate protein consumption, take note that food responses are different for each person.
For instance, insulin-resistant people or Type 2 diabetes patients need 30 to 40 grams of non-fiber carbs to shift into nutritional ketosis, while others may need 70 to 80 grams.
More importantly, don’t forget to continuously cycle your periods of nutritional ketosis instead of remaining in this state all the time, usually for at least once a week, as doing the latter may be counterproductive. On some days you really have to consume more net carbs and protein in order to reduce your sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass and strength) risk.
Most of the metabolism-related changes that occur during nutritional ketosis happen once you increase your net carb and protein consumption, leading to muscle growth. After one to two days, you can cycle back into nutritional ketosis. Learn more about how you can lessen the impacts of physical inactivity toward your health by reading the article “Stand Up, Sit Less, Move More — Especially if You Are Diabetic.”