Exercise and type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes, with 11 million Canadians and 29 million Americans diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Being overweight increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes occurs when we become insulin resistant. We make insulin, but our cells become resistant to it, as opposed to type 1 where we don’t make insulin. 

Why does being overweight make us more susceptible to type 2 diabetes? It is not only about how much you weigh, but it is more about your body composition. It occurs when people who have more fat in their muscle cells, regardless of their weight. Being overfat is a better term, because you can have too much fat in your muscle cells even if your weight falls into a “normal” range. 

It is preventable and reversible.

Saturated fats seem to do the most damage to our muscle cells and increase the prevalence of type 2 diabetes. Eating saturated fat increases the fat build up in muscle cells that leads to insulin resistance. Saturated fats may also interfere with our ability to produce insulin in our pancreas. Eliminating saturated fat is a good step when it comes to preventing and treating type 2 diabetes.

Another great method for prevention and treatment, interval training. Resistance interval training.

Researchers have shown that aerobic intervals improve blood vessel health. A simple 20 minute interval workout like the one below is beneficial. The intervals could be alternating between walking faster and slower, you don’t need to run to get the benefit. 

To get even greater benefit try resistance training intervals. Research  from the University of British Columbia has shown that one session of interval resistance training can improve blood vessel function.

If you did an easy warm up for 10 minutes and performed all the exercises once for 30 seconds, and repeated them one more time, for a total of 6 minutes of interval training, followed by a 10 minute cool down. This is a total of 26 minutes of exercise to improve the health of your arteries and prevent type 2 diabetes. Seems like a reasonable return on the time invested. This could be done at home, don’t have a barbell use two cans, two water jugs, two puppies (no, don’t they are too wriggly), you get the idea.

You don’t need lots of equipment or lots of time to get the health benefits from exercise. It doesn’t take much to make a difference, a small decrease in body fat can make a big difference. Read the success of Eric Adams former police officer and lifestyle change success story.

Small changes can make all the difference.

Change your mind, change your health,


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