Wednesday 22nd September is National Fitness Day!
The purpose of National Fitness Day is to highlight the role physical activity plays across the UK, helping to raise awareness of its importance in helping people lead healthier lifestyles through being physically active. As a functional medicine based wellbeing company we fully advocate the importance of an active lifestyle not just for better fitness and day to day health, but also to safeguard health both now and in the future. Poor metabolic health is reflective in conditions such as type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart disease and regular activity plays a significant role in improving these conditions.
“Exercise doesn’t have to complicated”
Why do we need to support effective glucose uptake into the cell & how can exercise help?
All carbohydrate foods we eat are converted into glucose inside the digestive system which is then absorbed into the blood stream. This causes a ‘spike’ or rise in the level of sugar in the blood stream. If spikes are high (above the ideal level it should sit in) and frequent it can eventually result in body cells becoming ‘resistant’ to the actions of the hormone insulin. Insulin is responsible for shuttling glucose into the cell where it is used for energy straight away or stored as energy for use later on, with any excess glucose being stored in the fat cells as body fat. If the cells become ‘resistant’ to this action it results in glucose remanning in the blood stream and therefore more and insulin being produced.
This sets the scene for type 2 diabetes. Regular movement or exercise has been shown to help keep cells ‘sensitive’ to the action of insulin, which means the cells are efficient at taking in or ‘soaking up’ glucose from the blood stream. Studies show that a 15 minute walk after eating improves glucose uptake into the cells, which is key for prevention or reversal of type 2 diabetes. Resistance training and lifting heavy weights is also a fantastic way to improve glucose uptake into the cell.
Exercise doesn’t have to complicated, it can be as simple as increasing the number of steps you do by taking the stairs instead of the lift, parking further away from your destinations, incorporating a couple of 10 minute walks in the morning and after lunch and so on. You could even start with a 5 minute yoga practice each morning before your shower, take regular breaks from your desk and to 10 squats, jumping jacks, marching on the spot or a walk up and down the stairs. Imagine how much extra movement this can all add up to by the end of each day?
What can you start doing to incorporate more movement into your day?