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290313 The connection between ageing, exercise and diabetes

There appears to be a direct connection between age, exercise, and your risk of developing diabetes. Even if you tend towards being on the lean side, the simple fact of getting older raises your chances of becoming a diabetic.

Associate professor of nutrition at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Brenda Davy, states, “one of the most commonly observed changes that contribute to diabetes risk is decline in muscle mass that starts after age 30.” She recently did a review of the impact that aging and exercise has on diabetes and found the link.

Individuals with less muscle mass may have a greater risk of becoming diabetic because the body naturally sends the majority of its blood sugar, i.e. glucose, into muscle tissue. Once there it is available as energy or stored, depending on the needs of the body.

Here is another reason to increase your lean muscle mass. It is a fact that less skeletal muscle means a lower metabolic rate. This means you are burning fewer calories throughout the day, even if you are sitting down or otherwise resting, in comparison to a person with more muscle. Muscle, by its very nature is continually active, unlike fat tissue, which is essentially inactive.

One of the premier ways to increase your lean muscle mass is by resistance training. The simple fact of having more muscle leads to the logical conclusion that you have increased the amount of tissue that uses glucose on a steady basis.

For you aerobic aficionado’s , aerobic exercise is not efficient at building muscle tissue. Even more importantly, after the aerobic activity is over, your body quickly returns to its normal homeostasis and continued use of the fat as an energy source ceases. This happens no matter how long you exercised in the so-called fat burning zone.

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