What is insulin? Understanding blood glucose and its influence.

In the complex world of human metabolism, insulin plays a pivotal role. This hormone, secreted by the pancreas, acts as a gatekeeper, regulating blood glucose levels and ensuring our cells receive the energy they need. But did you know that various factors, including sleep, stress, and lifestyle choices, can influence insulin sensitivity and resistance? In this blog, we’ll dive deep into the fascinating realm of insulin and explore common ways to enhance insulin sensitivity.

Low GI food and relationship to blood glucose

Insulin and Blood Glucose: A Delicate Balance:

Before delving into the factors that affect insulin, let’s grasp the basics. When you eat, your body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, which enters your bloodstream. This rise in blood glucose triggers the release of insulin, which facilitates the uptake of glucose by cells for energy or storage. This process is vital for maintaining healthy blood glucose levels.

Sleep: A Key Player in Insulin Sensitivity

Quality sleep is essential for overall health, and it has a significant impact on insulin sensitivity. Lack of sleep or poor sleep quality can lead to insulin resistance, where cells don’t respond effectively to insulin signals. A study published in the journal “Diabetes Care” found that even a single night of inadequate sleep can reduce insulin sensitivity in healthy individuals. Establishing a regular sleep routine and aiming for 7-9 hours of sleep per night can help improve insulin sensitivity.

Stress: The Silent Disruptor

Chronic stress is a silent disruptor of insulin function. When stressed, the body releases hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which can lead to elevated blood glucose levels. Over time, this can contribute to insulin resistance. Managing stress through techniques like mindfulness, meditation, and deep breathing exercises can help mitigate its impact on insulin sensitivity.

Physical Activity: A Natural Insulin Booster

Regular physical activity is a potent tool for enhancing insulin sensitivity. Exercise increases the uptake of glucose by muscle cells, reducing the need for high insulin levels. Aerobic exercises like jogging and resistance training are particularly effective. A study in “Diabetes Care” suggests that just 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise most days of the week can significantly improve insulin sensitivity.

Dietary Choices: The Role of Fasting and Nutrient Quality

Intermittent fasting and dietary choices can also impact insulin sensitivity. Intermittent fasting, which involves cycling between periods of eating and fasting, has shown promise in improving insulin sensitivity. Additionally, a diet rich in fibre, lean proteins, and healthy fats can help stabilize blood glucose levels and reduce the risk of insulin resistance.

Conclusion

Insulin is a key player in regulating blood glucose levels, and its sensitivity is influenced by various factors, including sleep, stress, physical activity, and diet. Understanding these factors and making informed lifestyle choices can help maintain or improve insulin sensitivity, reducing the risk of insulin resistance and associated health issues. Whether it’s getting adequate sleep, managing stress, engaging in regular exercise, or adopting a balanced diet, small changes can have a significant impact on your metabolic health. By prioritizing these factors, you can support your body’s intricate dance with insulin and enjoy better overall well-being.

References

  1. “Sleep duration and insulin resistance in healthy black and white adolescents.” Diabetes Care, 2011.
  2. “Stress and blood glucose in type II diabetes mellitus.” Journal of Health Psychology, 2000.
  3. “Exercise and insulin sensitivity: a review.” International Journal of Sports Medicine, 1992.
  4. “Intermittent fasting: the science of going without.” Nutrition, 2015.

Want to understand how to train and eat for your body? Send us a message with “Insulin” and we will send you the blueprint to your success.

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Brett McKenzie
Brett McKenzie
11:37 22 Dec 23
Healthspan is the first gym that I enjoy coming to. There is a great community vibe, where the trainers know who you are, and tailor plans specific to you.What I have achieved so far is a great motivation, and the encouragement from the team is fantastic.
Jenny Burchfield
Jenny Burchfield
01:16 17 Dec 23
A great community gym.I never thought I’d be a gym kind of person - I love the outdoors. But as one gets older, not only is aerobic fitness still important, but balance and strength exercises even more so.Trainer Deb manages all my aches and pains while keeping me fit, strong, healthy and mentally sharp. She is amazing.I love this gym.
Colin Wood
Colin Wood
04:52 15 Dec 23
Highly recommended. I have been a member for many years and have reaped the health benefits in the process! All the trainers are extremely knowledgeable and tailor a program specific to your needs. The gym has a lovely friendly atmosphere with modern equipment which makes you want to come for a workout!
Steven Maas
Steven Maas
00:08 16 Nov 23
Great bunch of health and fitness professionals doing a great job. I can highly recommend them.
Nathan Ainsworth
Nathan Ainsworth
11:34 11 Sep 23
Healthspan's youth program is great. All the staff are warm and welcoming, and do not judge you on your fitness/abilities, they just want you to improve yourself and make sure you have the right techniques. I would highly recommend this gym.
Lauren Cecelia
Lauren Cecelia
05:12 31 Jul 23
Great gym friendly staff
Heinz Herrmann
Heinz Herrmann
04:38 29 Jul 23
My happy place 💛
Victoria
Victoria
02:05 29 Jul 23
Friendly trainers, great atmosphere and encouragement.
Rebecca Dunn
Rebecca Dunn
21:28 28 Jul 23
Great community gym
Maree Parisi
Maree Parisi
12:38 28 Jul 23
Very friendly staff and gym community!! It has a lovely layout and good variety of machines
Nathalie Lesbre
Nathalie Lesbre
02:11 28 Jul 23
Friendly local gym. The trainers are experienced and know how to push us.
Denise Patterson
Denise Patterson
01:14 28 Oct 22
Great intimate gym which is really friendly and welcoming to new comers. Amazing personal trainers who are brilliant at helping you recover from injuries, provide guidance with nutrition and supportive with achieving goals.
Claire Matthews
Claire Matthews
23:46 29 Aug 22
Trainers are all lovely, friendly and open to questions. Energise appealed to me because it was a safe space for me to go to the gym and lift weights as a beginner in a friendly environment- and that's exactly what I got! I love the community aspect and recommend to anyone looking for a convenient, good value gym to get started on your fitness journey.
Jenny Fewtrell
Jenny Fewtrell
00:28 19 May 21
I joined Energize express about 3 years ago and it was the best move I’ve ever made. I was feeling very sluggish & not happy with my weight. The gym has this lovely comfortable vibe, and everyone is part of the gym community you can chat to people if you want or just get on with the job. The trainers are so dedicated in helping you achieve your goals. Each year they have an 8 week challenge & boy does it work as my first year in I won . I lost weight but gained muscle mass I have never looked back I feel fit, fabulous & thru the guidance of my trainer Deb eat a much more balanced diet.
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