Diabetes Mellitus is a group of metabolic diseases which characterizes itself as high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period of time. If left untreated or poorly managed, can result in serious health complications including stroke, heart disease, kidney failure, loss of sight and limb degeneration. Proper exercise and sound nutrition are the foundation of improving health risks and overall quality of life. Apply these eight simple but powerful strategies to help manage and prevent the onset of diabetes naturally.
1. Strength train with weights 3-4 days per week. Physical activity and more specifically regular bouts of strength training are powerful ways to manage glucose levels. Resistance training has been shown to naturally lower blood sugar levels and increase the sensitivity of insulin receptors on muscle cells resulting in better usage glucose and insulin in the body.
2. Start walking 20+ minutes in a fasted state every morning. Adding low to moderate intensity cardio such as walking or biking when you wake up can help jump start your metabolism for the day but also utilize the fat stores in the body as fuel. Physical activity in a fasted state has been shown a preference to utilize fat stores for energy production over the body’s storage form of sugars known as glycogen.
3. Familiarize yourself with the glycemic index of foods and opt for foods 50 or below. Any person will benefit greatly from knowing the difference between a high glycemic and low glycemic food. A food with a high glycemic value are referred to as simple carbohydrates including things like syrups, sugars, fruit juices, and sweets. Complex carbohydrates are more complex in molecular structure and refer to foods that contain fiber and take longer to release into the bloodstream. These would include foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, select grains and nuts and seeds.
4. Make protein a priority at each meal. Lean sources of proteins including eggs, egg whites, chicken, turkey, salmon, extra lean beef, buffalo and bison supply a healthy amount of amino acids to the bloodstream, which travel to muscles for rebuilding and recovery after exercise. The bonus of eating a higher protein diet is minimal to little effect on blood sugar. This mitigates insulin release even if you’ve consumed simple or complex carbs within the same meal.
5. Take magnesium daily. Supplementing with an essential mineral such as magnesium will help regulate over 300 biochemical processes in the body. Although magnesium is referred to as an anti-stress mineral it is also excellent in improving insulin sensitivity in the body. Most people, especially diabetics, are deficient in this critical mineral and would likely find improvement in their blood work with regular supplementation.
6. Eat carbohydrates after your workouts. Blood glucose is managed much better when carbohydrates are consumed before during or after a bout of exercise. So in theory, if you’re going to have a Danish, doughnut or cookie at home, you’re actually better off having it immediately after your workout after you have created a different metabolic environment in your body
7. Supplement with omega-3 fatty acids such as fish and seal oils. Opt for pharmaceutical-grade fish oil sourced from small cold-water fish including mackerel, hearing and sardines. Fish oils have been shown to turn off fat storing genes and turning on fat-burning genes. Fish oil is also huge in reducing inflammation and promoting insulin sensitivity.
8. Use bang for your buck exercises. When exercising use multi-joint compound exercises such as squats, lunges, push-ups, shoulder presses, seated rows, bending motions and a medium to moderate intensity. Utilizing 3 to 4 working sets and rep ranges in the 8 to 12 range would be optimal for managing glucose levels by metabolically activating the musculoskeletal system.
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