Getting active

Insulin resistance, which leads to all sorts of blood sugar problems, often starts with inactivity. If you don’t use your muscles enough, then over time, fat builds up inside the muscle fibres and insulin resistance develops. The best way to reverse this is to get active.

Sit less, move more

You can start by sitting less. If you spend a lot of time sitting continuously (and many of us sit for over 8 hours a day) then the sugar and fat that you eat will just sit around in your arteries causing problems, rather than being dumped in your muscles where they will get burnt as fuels. So set an alarm and try to stand up and walk around for a few minutes every 30 minutes.

Take more steps

Walking is also a great way to reduce insulin resistance and keep blood sugar levels down. Most people walk less than 5000 steps a day and you should, ideally, be aiming at around 10,000. I don’t recommend that you try and hit that target in a single week, but build up to it over the course of the 8 week diet by increasing the number of steps you take by about 10% each week.

One way to keep yourself motivated is to get into a friendly competition with someone else. You will find your own ways to get more steps into your life, but they could include deciding to always take the stairs, parking further away from the supermarket or joining a walking club.

The greatest benefit comes from occasionally pushing yourself, getting your heart rate up. This can be done while walking, or on a bike. The idea is that you go as hard as you can for short bursts, no longer than 20 seconds, just enough to get your heart rate going. Do this three or four times during the course of a cycle ride or a workout and you should soon see improvements in your blood sugar control.

Check with your doctor first if you have a heart problem or are very inactive.

You can find more information on getting fitter in Fast Exercise.