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.