I know what you’re thinking. “Really?” you’re muttering incredulously. “Really??! A post about how exercise is good for you? Is that new information? Is the next post about groundbreaking new research that suggests that puppies are, in fact, adorable?”
Well, first of all, please stop hacking into my computer and reading ahead – The Puppy Paradox is a work in progress and I can’t promise it’ll pass peer review in time for next week’s post, so just relax on that one. And second of all, this exercise-is-dandy article has a wrinkle: we’re taking a quick look at the scourge known as insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance happens when your body’s cells have been exposed to insulin for too long (typically when we have damaged ourselves with years of high-sugar or high-carb diets). Tragically, our poor cells get desensitized to insulin, so they stop responding when the body tries to produce energy. It also wreaks havoc with blood sugar regulation and can lead to a whole host of other severe medical issues: hormonal imbalances, abdominal weight gain, elevated triglycerides, and sometimes Type 2 Diabetes. Basically, insulin resistance can have a cascading effect that undermines your body’s ability to regulate itself properly.
Now for the not-so-surprising fix: Exercise is the key to reducing insulin resistance, repairing these damaged cells, and improving blood glucose metabolism. It doesn’t have to be super vigorous exercise, but it has to be consistent – a minimum of 30 minutes, five times a week. Walking, swimming, hiking, and ninja warrior-ing are all great options. If you can combine that with a low-glycemic diet (see some of my previous posts), you can resist insulin resistance, and kick futility to the curb.