030413 Aging and insulin resistance

Aging and insulin resistance (1)

The fact that insulin resistance increases with age is not clear, however it does, and as we get older we must be consciously aware of this fact of life.

Some research scientists believe that it is a problem with the insulin signaling inside of the cell. Glucose transference into each cell depends upon transporters to bring the glucose into the cell. Physical activity including aerobics and strength training increases the activity of these transporters.

A moderate to vigorous intensity workout carries with it beneficial effects for least a day and perhaps even longer. This translates into increased insulin action during these after training periods. Not only does activity increase insulin sensitivity they can also decrease insulin resistance. Brenda Davy, associate professor of nutrition at Virginia Tech, states, “Muscle contraction causes muscle cells to take-up glucose even without insulin. That is one reason why aerobic or resistance exercise is particularly beneficial for individual diabetes. Even if you are insulin resistant, you can still reduce blood glucose levels.”

This is good news if you are on the borderline of being diabetic.

Here is a potential plan to help reduce your chances of becoming diabetic.

As can be seen, both aerobic and resistance training have great benefits. Some people swear that aerobic exercise is more likely to reduce the weight or as other individuals believe just as firmly that resistance training is the key to losing weight. Well both are right, but combining the two potentiates the benefits of both.

This was clearly demonstrated in one study by research scientists who divided 262 diabetics into two groups who participated for nine months: one group did aerobic and resistance training and the second group did nothing. The results found that only those who participated in both forms of exercise actually lowered their long-term glucose levels. The description of the individuals involved did not indicate if they had any type of arthritic conditions that precluded them from some of the activities.

If you decide to do strength training, pick out 8 to 10 major muscle group exercises and aim for 8 to 12 repetitions for 3 to 4 sets 2 to 3 times a week. If your program is designed correctly, you will notice improvements within 2 to 3 weeks.

As for your aerobic training, try to get a minimum of a half hour of brisk activity five times a week. Don’t expect to expend a lot of calories in such a short amount of time because it is not going to happen. The important thing to remember is being active on a daily basis every day of your life.

The downside to aerobic conditioning, especially if you are considering jogging or running and are older, is arthritis. Having arthritis in your joints may cause undue pain if you participate in the aforementioned activities.

(1) Insulin resistance, in which the body cannot use insulin effectively

(2) Nutrition Action Health Newsletter