By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
February 24, 2016
- Your best defense against diabetes
- Takes only 15 minutes a day
- Here’s how to get started
What are you doing to gain control of your diabetes symptoms… or slash your risk getting it in the first place?
This is a big question, because about 115 million people here in the U.S. are diabetic or pre-diabetic. But a lot of them – and you may be among this group – don’t even know they have blood sugar and insulin problems.
It’s a real epidemic these days, and it comes with all sorts of health problems. Type 2 diabetes puts you at two to four times the chance of heart disease or a stroke. It affects your brain function, damages your nerves and causes kidney problems.
However, diabetes – and all of the health consequences associated with it – can be avoided when you make healthy choices.
Eating a healthy diet low in refined sugars and carbs is the first place to start. But if you really want to defend against diabetes, it’s also important to get plenty of good, old-fashioned exercise.
Now, I can hear you already. “But Dr. B. I try… There’s just not enough time in the day!”
That’s what my patients tell me. But that excuse doesn’t fly here at my office. That’s because I’ve got an easy way to get around this problem.
You see, something called high intensity interval training – or HIIT – is particularly beneficial when it comes to beating diabetes.
Not only does it work better than conventional exercise to lower blood sugar and reduce insulin resistance. It also boosts your cardiovascular health, gets blood flowing to your heart, lungs and brain, and helps you cut down on extra weight.
Better yet, it only takes minutes a day.
If you can squeeze in as little as 15 minutes of HIIT before work, during lunch or around dinnertime, you can get benefits that outshine a regular (and much longer) workout.
The concept of HIIT is simple. It involves short bursts of activity – say 30 seconds to one minute – followed by a short period of rest. The rest period should be just long enough to even out your breathing and lower your heart rate.
Then, you simply repeat the activity several times… but with increased intensity. And try to keep going a little longer with each round. This is where the real workout comes in.
The real beauty about HIIT is that practically anyone can do it. (Just check with your doctor beforehand if you have any concerns.)
Let’s say you’ve been inactive for awhile. Maybe you’re overweight and have a hard time getting around.
Okay. Let’s go for a walk.
Just walk at a pace that’s fast for you. Then, after about 30 seconds slow down to a normal pace for a few minutes while you catch your breath. (If you need to stop walking entirely for a few moments, that’s okay too. This isn’t a competition.)
Then, resume your faster pace. Do the same routine four or five times – fast pace, slow walk – fast pace, slow walk. Each time you do it, try to boost the pace and keep it up a little longer.
What if you’re already fit?
In that case, let’s go for a sprint.
Run as fast as you can for 30-40 seconds. Then, slow down to a normal walk while you catch your breath. Repeat four to five times. (To add more intensity, try sprinting uphill!)
You can apply these same tactics to cycling, squats, lunges, jump rope, push ups, jumping jacks and other forms of exercise. Try alternating them to build strong muscle in various parts of your body.
As you move forward, continue to increase your intensity and exertion periods.
In no time at all, you’ll drastically cut your chances of metabolic problems… and improve any symptoms you may already have. You’ll also be leaner, stronger and have more energy.
Jelleyman C, et al. The effects of high-intensity interval training on glucose regulation and insulin resistance: a meta-analysis. Obes Rev. 2015 Nov;16(11):942-61.
Shaban N, et al. The effects of a 2 week modified high intensity interval training program on the homeostatic model of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) in adults with type 2 diabetes. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2014 Apr;54(2):203-9.
Little JP, et al. Low-volume high-intensity interval training reduces hyperglycemia and increases muscle mitochondrial capacity in patients with type 2 diabetes. J Appl Physiol. 2011 Dec;111(6):1554-60.