Insulin resistance is a common diagnosis among adults in Australia. In fact, the prevalence of insulin resistance in adult populations ranges from as low as 15.5% to as high as 46.5% from country to country.
Insulin resistance can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes or a cluster of symptoms called metabolic syndrome that can result in cardiovascular disease.
We know this all sounds very serious (and it is!) but it is not something totally beyond your control.
The good news is that it is entirely possible to live a great and healthy life with insulin resistance.
How to Live a Healthy Life with Insulin Resistance
The reason you were diagnosed may have been beyond your control. There are potential genetic causes, like PCOS or a family history of diabetes, managing, and even reversing, insulin resistance may be as simple as adopting a few lifestyle changes.
Some of these lifestyle changes may be difficult at first, but any steps you take in this direction will see you living a happier and healthier life, even with insulin resistance.
Get (and Stay) Physically Active
Getting up and moving your body is at the heart of any healthy lifestyle. And what’s more, physical activity can help you manage insulin resistance and a slew of other health conditions. And when we say ‘physical activity,’ we don’t mean training for an ultra marathon (although, don’t let us stop you!), we mean 2.5 to 5 hours of moderate activity or 1.25 to 2.5 hours of vigorous activity a week. That’s it.
The above totals are the physical activity guidelines laid out by the Australian Government Department of Health. And if you are in a place where that much exercise is aspirational, that’s okay too. Getting started is half the battle. Any movement is better than no movement.
If you are starting from zero, ease into it. Find something you enjoy doing. Exercise doesn’t have to be a miserable experience! In fact, walking has been found to be effective in controlling insulin resistance. While it is important to elevate your heart rate, you don’t want to push yourself so hard that you quit or give up before you really get started. Walking, hiking, running, swimming, cycling and yoga are all excellent options.
Exercise is important because it can help to regulate blood sugar levels. Exercise enables the muscle, fat, and liver cells to absorb glucose for energy. Your body uses glucose to fuel physical activity and when we’re done, those energy stores need to be rebuilt, taking glucose from the blood. The harder the workout, the more energy you will use and the more glucose is needed by the muscles.
But again, don’t get stuck on thinking you have to go all out, all the time. Just get the blood pumping. And the more often you do that, the easier it becomes to do more!
Stress can complicate insulin resistance.
When we are stressed, our bodies produce more of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. While these hormones are useful in true fight or flight situations, they are not helpful when facing your typical daily stresses.
Both cortisol and adrenaline make it harder for insulin to do its proper job, leading to increased levels of blood glucose. On top of that, cortisol has been found to increase abdominal fat, another complicating factor in insulin resistance.
While stress may feel like a permanent part of modern life, every effort should be made to reduce it.
Try some yoga or meditation. It doesn’t have to be formal. Simply going outside in the morning, and taking deep breaths while turning your face to the sun can do wonders.
When your workday is done, do not continue to check emails. Do what you can to separate work and life.
Do something each day that you genuinely love. That could be throwing on your favourite song and dancing in the living room, making time to read every day, or even just spending more time with friends and family. You know what brings you joy.
Making a conscious effort to do more of what makes you happen while also stepping away from things that don’t, can go a long way to helping your stress levels.
Weight is a contributing factor in insulin resistance. But, if you implement most of the recommendations on this list, it is likely that you will naturally lose weight.
Concerted efforts to lose weight can be a stressful thing for many people so, if it helps, think of it as a secondary goal. Focus on movement and eating healthier, and weight should take care of itself.
Excess weight causes fat to interfere with insulin signalling, leading to insulin resistance. When insulin resistant, the body continues to produce insulin in response to blood sugar. This extra insulin in your system, in turn, can lead to more fat storage.
It’s a vicious cycle, really. So, reducing weight, even a little, can help.
Make Smarter Food Choices
Diet is also a big factor that can cause insulin resistance. Eating lots of processed foods and carbohydrates can cause the condition to develop or get worse, leading, eventually, to type 2 diabetes. Eliminating processed foods and carbs is not always easy, they tend to be easy and convenient options for busy schedules. But, the shift doesn’t have to be difficult either.
Focus on adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Nuts, seeds, whole grains, and healthy fats like Greek yogurt and olive oil, are great additions to a healthier diet.
Concentrate on fibre, proteins, and healthy fats. These foods will not only provide an excellent nutritional boost, but they will also help you feel fuller, longer which can help you avoid those sugary snacks that will spike blood sugar and start the cycle all over again.
Try Natural Supplements
Inositol can help to regulate cellular response, making it easier for the body to use the insulin produced to take up glucose from the blood. Several studies of postmenopausal women, women with PCOS, and women with gestational diabetes have shown improvements in all groups after taking inositol.
Inositol, however, is not a magical solution. And it will not necessarily work on its own. It is best used in conjunction with the actions mentioned above. Inositol is a supplement that can support your efforts to live a happier lifestyle.
Before you decide to take inositol, consult with a health care professional. Every person is different you want to make sure that inositol is the right fit for your health goals.
Let Inositol Australia Support Healthy Living with Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance is a complex condition that impacts a large number of people. In many cases, however, it can be managed through lifestyle choices. Along with diet, exercise, and stress management, supplementing with inositol can keep insulin levels under control.
Choose Inositol Australia as your source for high-quality inositol supplements. With a wide range of GMO-free, plant-based products, you know you will be getting a top supplement without any synthetic ingredients!
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