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The Most Effective Forms of Exercise for Diabetes: Strength Training and High-Intensity Exercise

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

best exercise for diabetes

Story at-a-glance -

  • Type 2 diabetes arises from faulty leptin and insulin signaling and resistance, both of which are directly related to lack of exercise and a diet high in starchy carbohydrates or sugar
  • When it comes to exercise for diabetic control, though, two types have been found to be the most effective, namely high-intensity exercise and strength training, although any form of physical activity will have some degree of beneficial impact
  • Recent research found a link between muscular strength and Type 2 diabetes incidence. Participants with midlevel muscular strength had a 32 percent lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes compared to those with lower levels of muscular strength
  • High-intensity interval training has also been shown to effectively reduce your risk for diabetes. In one study, older overweight Type 2 diabetics improved their glucose regulation in just six HIIT sessions done over the course of two weeks
  • Equally, if not more, important is daily nonexercise movement, as sitting shuts down or blocks a number of insulin-mediated systems, including muscular and cellular systems that process blood sugar, triglycerides and cholesterol. Simply standing up activates all of these systems at the molecular level

Type 2 diabetes arises from faulty leptin and insulin signaling and resistance, both of which are directly related to lack of exercise and a diet high in starchy carbohydrates or sugar. Unfortunately, when diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, many are led to believe their fate has been sealed and all they can do now is "control" it.

This simply isn’t true. A low-carb, high-fat diet as described in “Burn Fat for Fuel,” along with exercise and daily movement are the correct prescriptions to reverse this common condition — not medication. Fasting is yet another proven remedy that can yield rapid results.


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