Exercise prevents diabetes

A recent study shows that lack of exercise is a major risk factor for diabetes in overweight women, and these women can help prevent diabetes by exercising, even if they don’t lose a lot of weight. Before insulin can do its job of driving sugar from your bloodstream into cells, it must first attach to small hooks on cells called insulin receptors. Having extra fat in your body prevents insulin from attaching to these receptors, and prevents insulin from lowering blood sugar levels. Therefore the cells of overweight women cannot respond to insulin as well as those of their leaner counterparts. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst showed that overweight women who engage in vigorous exercise can respond to insulin as well as leaner fit women (Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, October 2006). Thirty-five percent of North Americans will become diabetic, and staying in shape may be an even better way to prevent diabetes than controlling weight.


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