Fight the Effects of Age with Better Blood Sugar Control
About 115 million American adults either have, or are at high risk for, blood sugar problems. And blood sugar trouble accelerates the effects of aging. So keeping your blood sugar under control should be a key part of your anti-aging plan.
I’ve written to you before about a low-glycemic lifestyle. In a nutshell, that means avoiding most of the starchy sugary foods that cause your blood sugar to spike.
Nutritional supplements – such as Alpha-lipoic acid and garlic – may also promote healthy blood sugar levels.
Another way to help keep your blood sugar under control is to stay active. Active people simply tend to have better blood sugar levels.
“Active” is a little harder to define than low-glycemic. But many experts agree that 20 to 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise 3 to 5 times a week is a good start.
Now, 3 recent studies reveal how you can fine-tune your activity for even better results.
Austrian doctors looked at aerobic exercise vs. resistance training. You could think of it as sort of jogging vs. weight lifting.
The doctors reviewed the effects of different types of training in 14 trials with 915 volunteers. They found people who did both types of exercise had the best blood sugar control.1
The second study took place in Denmark. Scientists there compared steady exercise to exercise of varying intensity. In this case, the exercise was very simple: walking.
One group of volunteers walked at a steady pace 5 times a week. The other group walked the same amount, but varied the intensity of their pace. After 4 months, only the varied-pace group showed much better control of their blood sugar.2
The third study – completed in New Zealand – basically combined the ideas of the other two, with a twist.
The researchers split their volunteers into 3 groups. By the end of the study all 3 groups rotated through 3 different workout routines.
One routine involved a brisk 30-minute walk a half-hour before dinner. The second and third used what the scientists called “exercise snacks.” These workouts were shorter, more intense, and done 30 minutes before each meal of the day.
One “exercise snack” routine involved 6 intense 1-minute bursts walking on an incline before each meal. The other “snack” routine alternated the intense walking bursts with 1-minute of resistance exercise.
In this trial, all the routines improved blood sugar control to some degree. But the 2 “exercise snack” routines both produced better control, for longer periods, than the daily 30-minute walk.3
Together, these studies suggest staying active is good… but mixing up your workouts and varying the intensity is even better. And when it comes to anti-aging, every little bit counts.
Yours in continued good health,
Dr Kenneth Woliner, M.D.
1 Schwingshackl, L., et al, “Impact of different training modalities on glycaemic control and blood lipids in patients with type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and network meta-analysis,” Diabetologia. Sep 2014; 57(9): 1789-1797.
2 Karstoft, K., et al, “Mechanisms behind the superior effects of interval vs continuous training on glycaemic control in individuals with type 2 diabetes: a randomised controlled trial,” Diabetologia. Oct 2014; 57(10): 2081-2093.
3 Francois, M.E., et al, ” ‘Exercise snacks’ before meals: a novel strategy to improve glycaemic control in individuals with insulin resistance,” Diabetologia. Jul 2014; 57(7): 1437-1445.