If you think that hitting the gym is only intended to keep you fit and looking smart, then here’s some good news! It appears that regular gymming and resistance training also lowers your risk of type 2 diabetes. Fat interferes with the body’s ability to utilize insulin; therefore, overweight people are at a higher risk of developing insulin resistance.
Type 2 diabetes typically develops over time. Although it is most often diagnosed in overweight people, type 2 diabetes can also develop in those who are lean, especially the elderly.
Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III on 13,644 non pregnant adults with a body mass index (BMI) of at least 16.5 was collected by researchers. The researchers wanted to see how mass affects insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes muscle.
A condition in which a person’s blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be diabetes is known as Prediabetes. It was found that every 10% increase in the skeletal muscle index (ratio of muscle mass to total body weight) resulted in 11% and 12% decreases in insulin resistance and prediabetes, respectively. Despite accounting for other variables that affected risk for insulin resistance and/or pre-diabetes, these relationships were found to be valid.
Resistance training may also be responsible for insulin utilization in people with type 2 diabetes.
An associate professor of medicine in the division of geriatrics at the University of California, Los Angeles, Arun S. Karlamangla, PhD, MD, explains: “It’s not just weight that matters, but what proportion of your weight is muscle mass. If you start an exercise program, and don’t lose weight, you should not give up hope because your fat is getting converted to muscle. If you lose fat, you gain muscle. So even if the weight is the same, the balance shifts. It’s not too late if you already have type 2.”
Chief of endocrinology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, John Buse, MD, PhD, says that one of the major insulin-sensitive tissues in the body is the Muscle. When Insulin (a hormone that regulates blood-sugar levels in the body) levels are left unchecked, high glucose levels can cause havoc in the body by causing several diabetes-related complications.
Buse says: “The more muscle mass you have, the more glucose you can dispose of in response to insulin. Fitness trumps fatness. If you are a little heavy but fit you are probably well. If you are heavy and not fit, your risk of diabetes is higher.”
Chief of gastrointestinal metabolic surgery and director of the Diabetes Surgery Center at New York-Presbyterian in New York City, Francesco Rubino, MD, added that metabolic efficiency is improved and risk of insulin resistance is reduced by muscle mass. “The exercise that we always used to consider appropriate for reducing cardiovascular risk, aerobic exercise, may not be enough. Sedentary lifestyle also decreases muscle mass.”
Diabetes is a condition caused by means of how our body produces or utilizes insulin. Insulin is required for the movement of blood sugar (glucose) into cells for storage and later for energy.
In people with type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance occurs when the body, comprising fat, liver, and muscle cells, does not suitably respond to insulin. Hence, blood sugar cannot enter the cells to be stored for energy.