Insulin is a hormone which is responsible for transporting blood glucose into the cell for energy production. Insulin gets talked about a great deal and is a particularly important hormone with regards to regulating blood glucose, assisting with protein synthesis by the cells and maintaining general metabolic health. Many of us are aware of insulin due to the conversation around diabetes. Type 1 diabetes lack the endogenous (internal) production of insulin and so have to rely on exogenous (external) supply of insulin through injections. 

However, a metabolic condition exists whereby the cells become desensitised to insulin as a direct result of over-exposure to insulin over a long period of time (Type 2 or pre -diabetes) This Predicament can be problematic to our health as it results in raised blood glucose levels and increased insulin. Elevated insulin will promote fat storage thus making it hard for many of us to reach those health goals. Thankfully there are a few mechanisms, which can improve the cells’ sensitivity to insulin and restore hormonal harmony. 

Lets take a look at a handful of these: 

1.Lose a few pounds - since insulin resistance is often the result of excess weight then by reducing weight, and in particular abdominal fat, it’s possible to improve the cells’ insulin sensitivity. 

2. Lift weights - incorporating strength training into your regime is highly recommended. Lifting heavy weights with intensity will initiate many physiological benefits, one being the cells ability to uptake glucose in the absence of insulin is an interesting mechanism. Non-insulin depend glucose uptake happens immediately post workout – enabling your cells to replenish glycogen stores even without the transporting – insulin. This is the equivalent of the cells being insulin sensitive. 

3.Do some sprints - Srinting is a fantastic way to improve your fitness and reap some amazing physiological benefits. Interval sprints are a sure fire way to deplete your cells of glucose (glycogen) and an empty cell is a hungry cell. Being primed for a re-feed makes your cells more sensitive to insulin. Try throwing in some sprints once or twice a week – these can be hills sprints, sand sprints or even in the gym on a treadmill or rower. 

4. Just like interval sprint deplete the cells storage of glucose (glycogen) so does full-body workouts focussing on high volume. Try incorporating 1-2 sessions per week whereby you challenge multiple body parts to induce fatigue. For example, for one session work on squats, chest, back and arms. This will ultimately make your cells incredibly ‘hungry’ for replenishment post workout and improve insulin sensitivity, meaning you’ll require less insulin to transport the glucose. Winning!! 

5. Relax - It’s been shown that a reduction in the flight or flight response (sympathetic nervous system) improves insulin sensitivity. So ensure you get a daily does of this by meditating or other relaxation-inducing activities. 

6. Goodquality sleep – Sleep in often an aspect of our daily life that we can control but is often neglected. Personal devices such as iPads, computers and smart phones all interfere with our body internal clock and disrupt hormones such as insulin. Improving your poor or inadequate sleep can help to improve insulin sensitivity. Sleeping with black-out curtains, eye mask, ear plugs and no-technology 2-3 hours prior to sleep will all contribute to improve sleep and hormonal restoration. 

The above tips are all non-dietary interventions to improve insulin sensitivity in a bid to be more metabolically efficient. Clearly adopting a low carb protocol will contribute to improved insulin sensitivity too. meal plans are all low carb and allow you the opportunity to enter ketosis – another mechanism to improve insulin sensitivity. 

Be healthy, be happy -
Scott Gooding

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