Did you know that Shorter, More Intense Strength Workouts are better at Lowering Blood Sugar?
Post by: Shaun Angel,Co-Owner, MBA, CPT
The improved glycemic control that results from short bouts of intense muscular exertion is linked to changes in muscles (specifically mitochondrial capacity within the muscle), such as an improved ability to clear glucose from the blood after meals. This is great for all people, especially those with T2 diabetes, insulin resistance or other metabolic syndromes (almost 60% of the population)…and those wanting to lose fat. Safe strength training with the rightintensity and the right TIME under TENSION forces the body to work all the muscle fiber types (there are 4) and both phases of the heart (there are 2). How does it work you ask?? So, effective strength training works the metabolic machinery of the body, aka muscle, which then forces the body to call on the metabolic support systems of the muscle, aka cardiovascular system, which include the heart, lungs, and vascular systems. This process uses a lot of fuel energy, aka sugar (glucose), which then sends the signal to the body to replenish that fuel sugar in the muscles. With a low sugar (carb) eating strategy, your body fat now has a fighting chance to become that energy source!!! Did you catch that part?? So, in the end, proper strength training is making your muscles more insulin SENSITIVE; again, a good thing for fat loss, metabolism, energy and for metabolic syndrome sufferers. This is all accomplished by properly dosing our strength training regimen (not too much and not too little intensity) and giving these systems a reason to make a change. The better blood sugar control from this type of strength training helps to kick your nutrition efforts into the stratosphere….or on days where you cheat and fall short (we all do), it gives you an insurance policy that the donut you ate doesn’t go to your hips or waist because your body is using sugar much more effectively than it previously
So, we don’t always think of strength training as much more purposeful than for cosmetic improvements…but all that sugar stuff above is important to the way we feel and to hitting our specific goals. The outside physical changes that result are a nice reminder to know how much is really going on inside. Just think, I didn’t even discuss what gaining strength does for bone mineral density, alleviating pain in joints and better sleep! And just remember, if we are running, walking, etc…many of the positive changes you feel are taking place through adaptations at the muscular level. Skeletal muscle mass is vital to life!
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