I know, the title of this article is quite common. There are a lot of authors, be it someone who involved actively in the scientific community or just casual bloggers who googled all of the facts related to this topic, which has been preaching (a lot) regarding the importance of certain activities/rituals/habits that might have saved you from diabetes mellitus. Even though it seems benign, diabetes mellitus is a disease which capable of causing dire consequences. Talk about something which has the potential to affect all kind of systems in the body and leave it to ruin.
Heart diseases, cardiovascular diseases, liver diseases, blindness, these are some well-known complications of diabetes mellitus and for people who are getting diabetes when they aren't genetically predisposed, it is commonly caused by insulin resistance which reduced the capability of a certain glucose transporter which is supposed to be activated by insulin and take in glucose to be used as an energy source. As a result, glucose will then stay in the bloodstream which can be deemed as unfavourable for us, biologically speaking, as the interaction between glucose and proteins can cause a devastating effect, especially on the small vessels, courtesy of the product of glycation.
Several theories have been postulated to discuss the effect of an increasing glucose in the bloodstream and some of them contradicted one another but I can say that most of them agreed that damages caused to the vessel are mainly due to the glycation process between glucose and circulating proteins (erythrocytes, globulins) which yield the Advanced Glycation End product known as AGE. Yeah, I know, apart from acute gastroenteritis, people usually use AGE to describe the end product of the harmful glycation process occurring in the bloodstream. Cool, huh?
Which One Will You Choose, Sneakers Or Dumbells Or None?
Although people might say combining both aerobic exercise and weight training can yield the best result, we know that each individual would have their own preferences. Some people love to lift weights while others love to hit the road, running. Exercise is an important component of longevity and it some situation, such as learning, exercise can actually prime the brain to learn a lot faster than people who stay sedentary. We can say that apart from the physiological advantages, people might be benefitted from the psychological benefits of exercise particularly on the cognitive function.
For those who are familiar with biology, you would know that our brain has the capability to have an improved function if we are sticking to a specific habits/rituals that would allow it to better function in a specific activity; it is called as the neuroplastic phenomena. In 2013, a group of scientists led by Laura Mandolesi has published a research paper in the Journal of Movement Science and Sports Psychology which enlisted some of the benefits of exercise on the brain function which include its potential to initiate a significant neuroplastic phenomenon which would lead to an enhance psychological well-being and cognitive functioning (Source). It's really amazing how this organ can form a new neuronal connection to better manage our daily engagement, maybe change a little bit to adapt to an unfamiliar environment and sure, compensating for diseases.
In a book written by John J. Ratey entitled Spark, he mentioned a few biological and psychological benefits of exercise which could be used as a general prescription for people who have been struggling with memory loss, reduce concentration, depressions and a few other conditions which affect people greatly in terms of their social functioning and capabilities to learn new stuff. Try to read the book if you haven't, it's quite a good read. Motivation can be thought of as one of the most important things that would have to determine whether we are interested to do something or not.
Some studies have indicated that exercise can increase motivation and concentration; both of which combined, creating a productive individual. This can be due to the fact exercise can increase the amount of dopamine (a hormone which is associated with depression at its lowest and schizophrenia at its highest) to motivate you to learn or do something you were supposed to be doing. Dopamine works its wonder in a few physiological pathways to exert some benefits but its role is particularly obvious when we are talking about the reward system. For laymen, the concept is simple, if you love something, your dopamine spiked up, motivating you to keep on doing whatever you did.
You feel rewarded by the experience but too much dopamine can lead to desensitisation which could hinder the hormone from working properly, hence, manifest itself as a subset of schizophrenia signs and symptoms. What about a reduce dopamine. Then, you could expect that you won't felt the pleasure of doing things that you don't like compared to the things you like. In a pathological scenario, it would have led to a condition called anhedonia; you were not interested in doing whatever that kept you awake at night before.
So what about diabetes? I think it is crystal clear regarding which direction I would bring you to explore the potential of exercise to be used as a tool for combatting diabetes. Some people seem to have a wrong intention when they were talking about reasons why they were exercising in the first place. Even if exercise can reduce the risk of us getting diabetes, without controlling the portion of what we are putting into our mouth, it is almost useless. Eating can be regarded as the primary factor that would allow us to stabilise the insulin hormone and at the same time, the blood glucose level. People seem obsessed with the type of exercise that could have been more efficient in making us leaner, maybe a little bit bulky and at the same time healthy when in fact the thing that matter is whether we exercise at all.
Well, both types of exercises (aerobic and weight training) seem to be efficient in preventing diabetes by balancing the amount of caloric intake with how much you were spending it on the physical activity. It prevents diabetes by reducing the incidence of obesity which has been pretty much sky-rocketing since the 1970s. There must be something wrong with what we have been doing that would increase our risk of getting obese and in the future, diabetes. The only time when you would be concerned whether to stick with your dumbbell or to put on your running shoes is when you were trying to achieve a specific body morph that would have to make you look cool (to you). A runner looks lean and a bodybuilder looks bulky, take a pick.
What's Wrong With Eating Whatsoever After A Workout?
To be honest, it is not wrong to reward yourself with foods after a working out session. It doesn't necessarily bad for you and if you have heard before regarding the advice "eat something 30 minutes after workout or you are going to lose those muscles", they were nonsense. The problem is not with whether you were taking food 30 minutes, 90 minutes or even 4 hours after a workout session but what kind of food you were taking in. Exercise gives people the luxury of eating while gaining less to none of the weight which later gives people some kind of a misconception that we can eat as much as we can as long we were exercising; wrong!!
Calorie counting and balancing the type of macronutrient you were taking in can be the most important step of preventing obesity and thus diabetes mellitus from happening; please take note that this advice is only fit for someone who was having a messed up lifestyle so that we can modify those. For people who have some kind of underlying diseases which lead to diabetes, you can apply it but the majority of those people would get affected by it, eventually. Take people with thalassemia who underwent regular blood transfusions. Sure, they won't get diabetes from thalassemia but they will get it from iron overload, courtesy of the regular blood transfusions so it is vital for people to analyse your own situation first.
People always said that low carbs diet work, vegan diet work, intermittent fasting work etc. Well, they do but which one is suitable for you, that's the main question that you have to ponder upon. I mean, you will look ridiculous if you try a diet plan, lose some weight but quit it a few weeks later. Try to find some balances in your eating schedule along with your eating preferences. Dieting is a strict endeavour but there is no reason we can't make it fun. There is too much thing to consider but you would have your whole life to experiment upon it.
Carbohydrates, be it simple or complex, can be the most delicious of the three macronutrients. I mean people can get stuff real quick after eating foods which mainly consist of protein and fats but when it comes to carbs, especially the simple one, a few bites of it would only make you hungrier. While we can't see quite clearly, it seems tied to the hormone insulin. For god sake, even if you were not eating, you can secrete a certain level of insulin to prepare your digestive system for an impending food. Have you ever felt hungry just by smelling foods? It's like your endocrine system cries for you to eat something even if you have already eaten 30 minutes ago.
People who supported low carbs diet seem to get a little bit biased and sometimes exaggerated the effect of carbohydrates towards weight management or in the long run, longevity. It's normal stuff, eating carbs can shorten your lifespan, blah, blah, blah but put it anything excessively or out of its supposedly normal portion, even proteins can shorten your lifespan. However, it is practically logical to assume that since obesity has been on its way up since the recommendation of "eating more healthy carbohydrates" in the 1970s came up. Biologically speaking, we can relate this upon the function of the insulin which seems to focus on getting rid of blood glucose either into the cells, muscles or if desperate, putting them into fat cells which making us fat.
Proteins? Well, nice stuff, some people seem obsessed with the idea of proteins should be taken within the hour of post-workout or you wouldn't progress at all; this emphasizes the importance of proteins to muscles for repair. A paper submitted by Rustad in 2016 concluded that while taking protein within 2 hours can maximise the amount of muscle gain and stamina to people, the result isn't always consistent (Source). Without balancing the amount of macronutrient that you were taking in, people can lose muscle even if they were taking proteins sufficient for the type of their daily activities too.
Don't get me wrong, people who were losing muscles can look normal, however, they have different muscles to fat ratio. This will affect their resting metabolic rate which would lead to obesity hence diabetes. It's like a common question for people who were working out; dude, did you take any protein supplement? Maybe yes, maybe no. Depends on whether you can satisfy the amount of protein demanded by your body as you were torturing them with push up, dumbbell presses or deadlift.
I think, of the three, fats might be the evilest one viewed by the majority of people in the whole wide world. I mean, really, who would admit that they were taking in a lot of fat today since the word fat has been used by laymen to describe people who were overweight or obesity. Some people do a significant amount of works like Ancel Keyes to provide some proofs to the media and people that fat can be the potential cause of all chronic diseases. Poor fat. They don't deserve that and the ketogenic diet seems to restore its reputation to the former glory. People actually used fat to treat seizures and diabetes mellitus which seem to show promising results.
Whatever portion you decided to go with, make sure you do a lot of research and understand the reason behind it. "Follow your heart or instinct" doesn't bode well with this kind of stuff. After getting the list, try it and see which one works for you. You are going to be committed to the specific diet so make an effort to choose the one you can enjoy in a long run. Eating and exercising to prevent diabetes seem simple but can be rather complicated if you think about it. Think about how much good you can do to your body after tirelessly trying all kind of meal plan and finally you caught up with one. Think about how happy you are after working out in the morning or evening or night (if you were busy during the day). Think about how glorious your life would be when you are 60 and healthy. It seems impossible since our bodily functions start to decline when we get older but totally not. I have seen people who were the 70s and never had any of the medical condition, he came for a medical checkup once in a while.
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