How can you improve insulin sensitivity other than paying attention to what you eat?
When you are insulin sensitive your insulin can transfer the blood glucose into the cells efficiently because the receptors on the cells function well, they are not resistant to the insulin.
If these receptors start to lose their sensitivity to the insulin, your blood glucose will increase. That can lead to type 2 diabetes if it keeps getting worse, but even if it does not get that point, it can cause a lot of problems.
Insulin resistance usually leads to weight gain, increased inflammation, increased risk for cardiovascular disease, and it can even result in neuropathies.
The food we eat is extremely important when it comes to preventing insulin resistance. There are however also other ways to improve insulin sensitivity.
A lot of aerobic exercise can help, but few people are willing to put in the time necessary to see the results.
When young men performed 2 weeks of supervised high intensity short interval training consisting of 4-6, 30 second sprints per session for 2 weeks with 3 sessions per week on a stationary bike, this is what the researchers found (Babraj JA, et.al., 2009).
Insulin sensitivity was improved by 23%, while aerobic cycling performance improved by approximately 6%.
That was not a lot of time spent exercising, and the benefits were great.
Does this only work for young people? No, in the following study the participants were healthy sedentary older adults with an average age of 65 (Hwang CL, et.al. 2016).
One group did high intensity training for 4 minutes at 90% of peak heart rate with 4 repetitions and another group did 32 minutes of moderate-intensity continuous training. Both groups exercised 4 times a weeks for 4 weeks.
Insulin resistance decreased by 26% and only in the group which did the high intensity short interval training.
Babraj JA, Vollaard NB, Keast C, Guppy FM, Cottrell G, Timmons JA.Extremely short duration high intensity interval training substantially improves insulin action in young healthy males.BMC Endocr Disord. 2009 Jan 28;9:3.
Hwang CL, Yoo JK, Kim HK, Hwang MH, Handberg EM, Petersen JW, Christou DD.Novel all-extremity high-intensity interval training improves aerobic fitness, cardiac function and insulin resistance in healthy older adults.Exp Gerontol. 2016 Sep;82:112-9
Research has shown that sitting for a long time can be bad, but you don’t have to be active for very long to reap huge benefits.
The program Exercise for Maximum Benefits incorporates the latest research to be sure that you really get maximum benefits.