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Exercise and Insulin Resistance

Posted on March 19, 2011 at 9:07 PM

Insulin Resistance:


Not Just for People with Diabetes?


What is insulin resistance? It's when insulin is not able to lower blood glucose as it should primarily because the receptors in the muscle and fat cells for insulin are no longer sensitive to the insulin. This can lead to metabolic syndrome which is categorized as having triglycerides above 150 mg/dL, HDL cholesterol below 40 mg/dL, blood pressure above 130 mm Hg for systolic or 85 mm Hg for diastolic, a fasting glucose greater than 100 mg/dL and BMI greater than 30. Therefore, it's not just about glucose.

Many studies have shown that exercise is key to preventing or controlling Type 2 diabetes, but that can be challenging to squeeze that in during the day for some. Strong evidence has also found that "unplanned" activity is also very helpful, especially for those who have sedentary jobs. This type of activity can be taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. One study done on a university hospital setting found employees who took the stairs increased maximal aerobic capacity by 9% while lowering LDL-cholesterol, BMI, and blood pressure. A little exercise really can go a long way.


Volpe, Stella L., Ph.D, R.D., L.D.N., FACSM. ACSM's Certified News, Oct-Dec 2010. Vol. 20:4, pp. 5-6

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