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Short duration workouts and other natural hacks for diabetes

Sleep well to avoid insulin resistance. © Shutterstock

According to a new study, exercising for just 15 minutes may improve insulin sensitivity, muscle size and strength in men who are obese and have type-2 diabetes. Along with exercise, here are a few more vital tricks to lower insulin resistance.

Written by Aishwarya Vaidya |Updated : February 1, 2019 2:32 PM IST

We all know that exercise can help you de-stress, ward off depression and anxiety while while aiding in tackling a number of other health ailments too. Now, a new study published in the journal Experimental Physiology found that short duration high-intensity workouts, which may exhaust you, are effective in dealing with type 2 diabetes in the way longer duration exercise sessions do. These workouts may be especially helpful in reversing type 2 diabetes in overweight men. If you are obese and have this endocrine disorder, you can opt for high-intensity kettlebell exercises. Try these natural hacks to improve your insulin sensitivity.

1: Look for ways to de-stress

Do you know that stress tends to affect your body's ability to regulate blood sugar? "Stress can trigger the release of hormones like cortisol and adrenaline into the bloodstream which can spike your blood sugar levels," says Ankita Ghag, Clinical Dietician, InBody India. Also, in a research published in the Journal of Endocrinology, the roles of chronic stress and depression as independent risk factors for decreased insulin sensitivity and the development of diabetes have been increasingly recognized. The research also states that stress can impact your glucose metabolism.

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2: You should get a good night's sleep

According to research conducted by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, a single night of sleep deprivation can cause as much insulin resistance as six months on a high-fat diet. It also concluded that the night of sleep deprivation decreased insulin sensitivity by 33 per cent, while six months of a high-fat diet decreased it by 21 per cent. "Hence, you should sleep well at least for 6-8 hours in order to reduce your insulin resistance," advises Ghag.

3: Shed those excess kilos

A study published in the journal Nutrition and Diabetes found that weight gain is associated with deterioration in metabolic health, whereas weight loss can enhance insulin sensitivity. "Excessive belly fat can increase your insulin sensitivity and in turn, you may be at the risk of type 2 diabetes," informs Ghag. Similarly, another study published in the Journal Of Physiology observed that insulin resistance is among the most prevalent metabolic complications linked with obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Hence, weight loss via calorie restriction is known to attenuate and reverse insulin resistance.

4: Eat foods which will reduce insulin sensitivity

Do you fail to incorporate nutrients like magnesium, calcium, fibre, and potassium in your daily diet? Then, you are doing it all wrong as these vital nutrients can help you manage your blood sugar levels. "You can opt for foods like beans and whole grains, broccoli and bell peppers, protein-rich foods like fish and nuts, salmon loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and berries containing antioxidants," highlights Ghag. Add herbs like fenugreek seeds which are high in soluble fibre and can help you increase sugar control. Garlic is jam-packed with antioxidants and may improve insulin sensitivity. Similarly, turmeric has curcumin, which is antioxidant and anti-inflammatory in nature. It can help increase insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels. "Sip on some apple cider vinegar which improves insulin's effectiveness," says Ghag. "You should also avoid sweetened beverages, alcohol, processed snacks and canned foods, ice cream, or chocolate bars, white bread, rice, pasta, and flour, which is lower in fibre, fried foods, butter and so on, which can raise your blood sugar levels," informs Ghag. Also, you must speak to your expert regarding the diet which is suitable for you.

The takeaway message: Avoid taking any supplements or over-the-counter medications without your doctor's advice. Self-medication can be risky.

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