A meta-analysis revealed that those who are physically active for approximately two hours per week had a 26 percent reduced chance of getting T2 diabetes than people who lead a sedentary lifestyle. A greater amount of physical exercise is related to an even larger decrease in risk.
The association between physical inactivity and type 2 diabetes is well-established, but it is unclear how much exercise is required to minimize the risk of getting diabetes.
At least two or three days each week should be devoted to resistance or strength training, especially on nonconsecutive days. Aerobic exercise combined with strength training is considerably more useful in boosting insulin health than either kind of exercise alone.
How does exercise affect the risk of diabetes?
According to studies, regular physical exercise decreases the incidence of insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. Physical exercise improves insulin sensitivity and the body’s capacity to manage blood sugar levels.
There are several forms of exercise, and they are all advantageous for avoiding type 2 diabetes.
Aerobic exercise, such as walking or swimming, and resistance training, such as lifting weights, may both improve blood sugar management.
How Much Physical Activity Is Required?
In the Diabetes Care study of older women, researchers discovered that walking around the block once was deemed a moderately intense exercise for this age group.
Doctors note that as individuals age, the energy cost of exercise increases, requiring more effort to do a given action. The identical stroll around the block would be regarded as a mild exercise for a middle-aged adult in excellent health.
In general, experts advocate focusing more on the frequency of physical activity in your everyday life than on the duration or kind of exercise.
How Does Physical Activity Improve Insulin Health?
Exercise assists in managing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes by reducing blood glucose levels and enhancing insulin sensitivity throughout the body.
Consuming Excess Glucose
One of the immediate benefits of exercise is a reduction in abnormally high blood sugar levels. Working muscles and organs absorb glucose from the circulation in response to exercise. This is one reason why doctors believe that individuals with increased blood sugar levels might benefit from post-meal walks.
When it comes to managing blood sugar, muscle is continually undervalued. The more muscle we preserve as we age, the more insulin receptors we have and the higher our glucose “sink”
Enhanced Weight Loss
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, losing merely 5 to 10 percent of your body weight will increase your A1C, the two- to three-month average of your blood sugar levels. Although diet is the primary factor in weight reduction, the inclusion of exercise allows for far larger results. This is due to the fact that exercise burns calories and helps the body retain lean, metabolism-supporting muscle, both of which may drop during caloric shortages.
Eliminating Visceral Fat
Visceral fat, often known as abdominal fat, is a primary contributor to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Research indicates that resistance training is the most useful kind of exercise for those with insulin resistance who are attempting to eliminate abdominal fat.
How Exercise Helps Prevent Type 2 Diabetes Complications
In addition to regulating blood sugar and insulin levels, exercise may delay, halt, and in some instances, even reverse the long-term consequences of type 2 diabetes development. Here are some of the primary ways physical exercise combats issues associated with insulin resistance:
Improving Vascular Health
When you exercise, your muscles produce a variety of substances that promote cardiovascular and circulation health. That means more oxygen and nutrients may reach their destinations, minimizing the risk of neuropathy, visual loss, and cardiac problems associated with diabetes. Increased blood flow may also benefit joint health.
According to an article published in April 2019 in the European Cardiology Review, inflammation is the root cause of type 2 diabetes and conditions such as atherosclerosis, joint deterioration, and cognitive decline. However, regular exercise may help reduce persistently high levels of inflammation to lessen its negative consequences.
Improving Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
In addition to bolstering heart health via increased blood flow and decreased inflammation, exercise also reduces blood pressure and cholesterol levels. According to the American Heart Association, both are major causes of progressive cardiovascular disease.