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Get Active to Control Blood Sugar and Counteract Pre-diabetes


Maintaining an active lifestyle is not just about shedding pounds or sculpting muscles; it plays a pivotal role in preventing and managing Type 2 diabetes. This chronic condition, characterised by insulin resistance and high blood sugar levels, is a growing global concern. Fortunately, the solution might be as simple as scheduling a resistance training workout with your personal trainer, along with lacing up your sneakers and hitting the pavement.



Exercise, the Ultimate Weapon!


Regular exercise acts as a potent weapon against Type 2 diabetes by addressing two key factors: weight management and insulin sensitivity. Engaging in physical activity helps control body weight, reducing the risk of developing diabetes. Moreover, exercise enhances insulin sensitivity, allowing cells to efficiently use glucose for energy.



Aerobic exercises, such as walking, running, and cycling, have been particularly effective in diabetes prevention and management. These activities not only aid in weight loss but also improve the body's ability to utilise insulin. Additionally, building muscle through strength training plays a crucial role in diabetes prevention. Mayo Clinic research underscores that an increase in overall muscle mass can reduce the risk of progressing to diabetes by an impressive 32 percent for individuals with pre-diabetes.


Effectively, when you exercise, you're instructing your body on efficient sugar storage within your muscles instead of the bloodstream. The more you engage in physical activity, the more efficiently your body utilises sugar.


To maximise the benefits, research has shown that completing two to three strength-training sessions weekly, preferably on nonconsecutive days works best. And for optimal results, combining these sessions with aerobic exercises in a single workout yields even more substantial enhancements in blood glucose levels.


NOTE: Ensure to have your water bottle within reach during extended periods of physical exertion, particularly in the warmer summer months. Inadequate hydration can significantly impact blood glucose levels.


Timing is of the Essence


Of course, the best time to do exercise is when you can fit it into your busy lifestyle, however exercises can often be relegated to the bottom of one's to-do list, particularly when managing the challenges of a chronic condition like diabetes. This underscores the significance of incorporating your workout sessions into your schedule with the same commitment as any other essential task.


Studies indicate that the optimal time for physical activity, especially for maintaining blood glucose levels, is one to three hours after meals when blood sugar levels tend to be higher. This is because exercise mimics the action of insulin in the body, directly reducing blood glucose levels, according to findings from a 2017 study in Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome. The research revealed that individuals with type 2 diabetes who engaged in brisk 15-minute walks shortly after meals experienced lower blood glucose levels compared to those who opted for a single 45-minute daily walk before breakfast.



What We Recommend


At Club Forma, our fitness professionals typically prescribe three resistance training sessions, coupled with three to four 20-30min aerobic sessions, such as cycling, running, or elliptical, per week. This, varies depending on the clients goals and fitness levels.


Consistency and building your exercises routine into your lifestyle in a steady and sustainable way is the key to winning, so let's step into a healthier future, one comprehensive workout at a time.


Reference:

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Part 01 of 02: Unpacking the Nutrition Mystery


I always get lots of questions from clients, friends and people generally, about nutrition ideas and nutrition philosophies – things they’ve read about on the internet or seen on their Instagram, new fad diets or belief systems they’ve seen on late night television heard about from their friends or even just stuff they’ve come up with themselves while lying in bed awake at night.

Read along if you want to learn why your nutrition probably isn’t working and what you can do to fix it.


What you Can do to Fix Your Nutrition

There is one trend I’ve noticed over the past 25 years about the questions I am being asked – they’re getting more ridiculous… it seems people are worse informed and more confused now, about the basics of nutrition, than they have ever been. And this is despite there being more solid, well researched scientific facts about what people need to be doing to attain a good healthy well balanced diet.


I think the following words by Dr John Berardi (Precision Nutrition) really illustrate what I’m talking about…


Nowadays, it seems like people are starting to think of nutrition as a "belief system" vs. a legitimate science. In other words, the answer to "What should I eat?" is determined by faith, magical thinking, emotional attachments, or what feels "truthy"... ...rather than on real evidence or the scientific method. And until we fix this, nutrition will only get more confusing, not less. The big problem: Most people start with the Internet. You don't have to look far on Facebook or Instagram to find a charismatic person with a great body and sales pitch offering their own beliefs as a "protocol" or "system". Plus, a quick search on Google for "healthy eating", "healthy diet", or "good nutrition" turns up hundreds of millions of results. Each person or website has its own story: A story about which diet, supplement, food, or nutrition practice someone *believes* is best. Yet nutrition is NOT a belief system. Nutrition is a *science*. Like chemistry and physics, it follows certain principles. And, when you understand these principles, you're able to make the best decisions for yourself (and/or recommendations for others). Base your nutrition choices on FACT, not feelings.

To be clear: We're not "bad" for wanting to follow belief systems. Following a clear set of rules can be a huge relief to those of us that find nutrition confusing or overwhelming. The people who start or share a belief system aren't "bad" either. Most of them are good, genuine, positive people just trying to make other people's lives better. But the problem happens when we base our own health decisions on emotional bias or the rules of a certain philosophy... ...and either ignore what science has to say about the facts, or perhaps have no idea whether such facts even exist. In the end, nutrition science is a big field. We can't know everything, and certainly not all at once. But we CAN start to put the biased beliefs away -- and embrace learning, critical thinking, and evidence-based analysis to every eating decision we make.


Look, the truth is there is no magic bullet when it comes to healthy nutrition, but there are plenty of well-known scientific nutrition facts based on biochemistry and how people react to foods and their environment; and these facts are used to determine sound nutrition principles that if applied well, will help anyone who choses to put in the hard work, yes HARD WORK, (I can hear people slamming their laptops closed or scrolling to the next screen as soon as they read this) achieve their physical success.


In part 02 of this article series I will outline some principles that will no doubt help you along the journey.

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Part 02 of 02: Here are our top 5 tips to stay motivated when the temperature drops

Advantages of exercising in winter and tips on how to stay motivated

Follow these tips to maximise on the advantage of exercising in winter


Plan a holiday. Booking a winter escape to somewhere warm provides a goal and strong incentive to keep exercising through those winter weeks. Many Club Forma clients head away to Europe during the latter weeks of winter helping them to stay focussed on their health and fitness goals leading up to then.


Establish realistic goals. Be kind to yourself and set goals that challenge but are realistic and achievable. Setting lofty physical appearance goals might seem exciting at the time, however once the initial excitement of undertaking a new exercise regime has worn off, those hard to achieve goals can become demotivating. If you’re not sure what is achievable for you, investing in a personal trainer and getting some expert help would be a great investment.


Being accountable to others. Studies have found that making a financial commitment, such as paying for a gym membership, is not enough incentive for most people to routinely show up and do the work that is required to achieve their goals. A recent survey found 6.2 million Australians have a gym membership, however 50% of them were attend the gym less than once a week – that’s 3.1 million adults. Partnering up with a workout buddy or investing in a personal trainer is a great way of making sure you turn up to your workouts and smash your goals. It will make those workouts a lot more engaging and fun also. At Club Forma our trainers sometimes use misdirection as a technique, where we engage the client in fun conversation, so they often arrive at the end of a really intense workout without knowing how they got there.


Build movement into your everyday life. Getting off the tram one or two stops early and walking the rest of the way or walking the stairs rather than taking the elevator. Plan to meet friends at a venue that is within walking distance to your home or walking to the shops and carrying your groceries back home are great ways of adding exercise to your day.


Don’t give up. It might seem a simple proposition, but reminding yourself that springtime is only 12 weeks away and counting… can keep your head in the game and help you stay focused on your exercise. That’s only two 6-week training cycles – springtime and the warm weather will be here before you know it.



References:


[1] NSW Food Authority: Media Release, Australians expected to gain 15 million kgs this winter, http://www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/news/media-releases/mr-27-jun-2012-winter-eating#.VV1LpPmqqko



Ernersson A et al. (2010) Long-term increase in fat mass after a four week intervention with fast food based hyper-alimentation and limitation of physical activity. Nutrition & Metabolism, 7:68. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2936436/

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