Insulin Resistance and Fitness After 40

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The human body is amazing and complicated and when if functions properly we feel healthy. However, when there is an interruption in function we begin to feel unwell. One common condition involves changes in how our body responds to insulin. When our bodies fail to manage insulin properly, this is insulin resistance and our health  will begin to deteriorate.

Insulin resistance occurs when the body loses the inability to respond properly to the hormone insulin. It is often related to obesity, although there are other medical causes.

Insulin resistance can lead to diabetes type 2 but it is not inevitable. With changes in diet and activity level, and perhaps medication, you can reverse insulin resistance. In my book, Second Chance at Health-Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating, I provide you with tools and ideas how to find the best eating plans and movement plans that can ameliorate this condition.

I will discuss the type of insulin resistance that is seen in overweight and obese adults in this post, and what you can do to avoid it or improve it.

What is Insulin Resistance?

Insulin is a hormone that is produced in the pancreas that is produced to transport sugar into the cells for use as energy or to be stored as fat. When the cells become resistant to insulin, two significant changes occur. First, the insulin levels rise in order to have more available to transport sugar, which does help in the short term, but then the body becomes even more resistant. Subsequently blood sugar elevations occur as the cells are unable to use the sugar in the blood, and this is when pre-diabetes and diabetes is diagnosed. Too much sugar in blood negatively affects nerves, the cardiovascular system and more.

It is known that elevated insulin (hyperinsulinemia) and insulin resistance often precedes diabetes type 2. Hyperinsulinemia can be identified with the measurement of insulin level by a lab test. You may go to my Ulta Lab Test NurseChrisP site to determine your insulin level and then present the results of the test to your doctor for his/her direction of your care.

What does Hyperinsulinemia or Insulin Resistance Feel Like?

There are no symptoms of insulin resistance. Any symptoms that do appear are related to the elevated blood sugar that ultimately occurs when the sugars cannot be moved out of the blood into our cells and used. The symptoms of elevated blood sugar include fatigue, difficulty concentrating and hunger. Measurable signs include elevated blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels, and fat around the middle. These are also the signs for a condition called Metabolic Syndrome.

What can Cause Insulin Resistance?

Poor diet and lack of exercise and the resulting obesity can cause this condition. Additionally chronic stress can play a role too. Steroids taken for other medical conditions can also contribute. Certain diseases, such as Cushing’s Disease or Poly Cystic Ovarian Disease can also be a factor.

How to Avoid Insulin Resistance

Avoiding insulin resistance that is related to inactivity and obesity is as simple as maintaining a healthy weight and living an active lifestyle. Using BMI (Body Mass Index) can be useful as a guideline and maintaining a BMI of less than 24.9 is the recommendation. Activity should be, at a minimum 150 minutes of moderate exercise or equivalent per week. 10K steps per day is a great goal to set.

If you already have insulin resistance simply increasing your daily physical activity can improve your insulin sensitivity. One study has shown that insulin sensitivity increases by 20% after just one hour of aerobic exercise and persists for approximately 20-48 hours thereafter,

Lab testing recommendations

Blood testing is the only way to determine if your blood sugar or insulin level is elevated.  Fasting blood tests are the most accurate. Fasting for 8-12 hours will give you the best and most reliable results. If you have a fasting blood sugar that is over the normal, it is recommended that you recheck it every 2 years. That is not frequent enough for me. I do not recommend waiting for 2 years to go by before addressing it. If you have elevated blood sugar or elevated insulin levels, lifestyle changes should be made immediately and then I recommend rechecking again in 3-6 months. Ulta Lab testing offers a Metabolic Syndrome Package with insulin.

However, lab testing is not necessary. If you are obese, have a waist circumference of more than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men, with confirmed high cholesterol, you can fairly say that you have insulin resistance.

Reversing Suspected or Confirmed Insulin Resistance with Lifestyle Changes

Reversing suspected or confirmed insulin resistance is simple.  Halting insulin resistance that is not related to another serious health condition it possible.  Changes to diet and activity level are recommended to improve how our bodies handle insulin and sugar.

The recommended diet changes include ketogenic diets, very low carbohydrate and very low calorie diets. Significant exercise and a healthy diet can reverse insulin resistance.

Simply increasing your physical activity daily will improve your insulin sensitivity, even if you don’t lose any weight. Aim for 40-60 minutes per day. Dividing up the physical exercise through out the day is an option that yields similar benefits.

By using my book, the Second Chance at Health-Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating , you can choose the best diet and the best exercise that can possibly reverse the condition and  reduce your risk for this condition.

If you are overweight or obese, and feel fatigued and have difficulty concentrating why not check your insulin level?

Visit your.  doctor and ask if he or she is concerned about this condition. You may also use my lab test link here Ulta Lab Test NurseChrisP and check for yourself. You could also measure your waist at just above your hip bones, and if you are over the recommendation, and obese (BMI <30), have high cholesterol and high blood pressure, then you most likely are insulin resistant to some degree.

Disclaimer: always seek care from your primary care provider for any health issues or concerns that you have.

In summary, lifestyle changes will improve or eliminate insulin resistance that is not the result of another serious health condition. Improving or eliminating hyperinsulinemia can help you avoid the progression to diabetes.

Order my book now to reduce your risk for diabetes by choosing to love active living and clean eating!

Ross Can J Cardiol 2008 PMC: 2794451).


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Many people, including health care professionals, don’t yet appreciate the sheer magnitude of benefit possible from simple dietary changes. Here’s a cardiologist’s version of nutrition highlights, along with some MVPs, or Most Valuable Plants.
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Meal Delivery for Fitness After 40

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Food Delivery for Fitness After 40

The convenience of home meal delivery has taken off, and 2 years ago, when my husband and I became empty nesters, we hopped on the bandwagon, and have never looked back. We have used Blue Apron from the beginning, only because they enticed us with free meals. And we have never looked back. Per my commitment to my readers, I only review or give my opinion of products that I have personal experience with. Blue Apron is the food delivery system company that we use on a weekly basis, and have since 2015. Food delivery systems can be a part of your BEST eating plan. My book, Second Chance at Health-Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating, covers eating plans into which food delivery can be incorporated.

Convenient, healthy, good value and pure deliciousness are all ways that I describe my Blue Apron meal delivery. These meals are so delicious that most days my husband and I remark that it is hard to decide which bite to take last. Home cooked meals are healthier for you as well. Check out my other blog Home Cooked Meals and Improved Fitness After 40. 

I need to make a confession, I abhor cooking, and that might not be a strong enough word. I don’t enjoy chopping, grating, pressing or any other cooking related activity. However, Blue Apron’s food is so delicious that I will endure the process so that I can eat the gourmet dishes that are produced in my kitchen.

How Blue Apron has Enhanced My Life

Blue Apron has enhanced my life in many ways. It has  even improved my marriage. Wait. What? Yes, my husband and I do more cooking together than we ever did before, and cooking together has improved our marriage. This has occurred because we have to work together to create the meals. It has enhanced our days because the hour or so spent together chopping, cooking and cleaning has increased our communication!

So these meals are good for your body, and your marriage. It has encouraged me to eat a large variety of foods. Blue Apron has me eating more kale, spinach and fish than ever. I eat more vegetables than ever. Our use of healthy olive oil is probably in the gallons. We purchase pepper corns and pink Himalayan sea salt by the bag.

But can they be used to enhance your fitness after 40 you ask. I wholeheartedly say yes. The variety of meals offered can fit into many of the eating plans that I recommend in my book, Second Chance at Health-Learn to Love Active Living and Clean Eating.

The weekly selection is varied and even has options for Whole30. The produce is organic, the fish and meat are sustainabley produced and without additives. The portion sizes of the sides are almost always serve 3-4 (we purchase for 2 adults). The protein portions are right sized.

We find that the recipes are easy to modify to meet our calorie needs. That means I don’t eat all of it and manage portion size. That’s it. That is how you can use the food delivery system to attain and maintain your weight loss and fitness goals after 40. You can enjoy rich tasting delicious food that is conveniently delivered to your home, have very little waste and stay trim and healthy.

Blue Apron has not paid me for this endorsement, perhaps one day I will be considered and influencer and they will, but for now…my opinion is…give it a try.

Benefits of Blue Apron

Blue Apron meals are versatile and can be incorporated into many special eating plans. They can be incorporated into a low carb, high protein, low calorie, Whole30, vegetarian, vegan or Paleo diet. The food is delivered weekly in a refrigerated box, which can easily be recycled. There is no waste, the produce is fresh and delicious, the meats and fish are high quality. The variety of meals available makes selection easy even for the pickiest of eaters. The directions are clear and easy to follow. The time to prep and cook are reasonable at the worst and fast and quick at best. Clean up is a snap because it usually is just one pan (at most two).

How it Works

Blue Apron offers pre-packaged meals with minimal to moderate preparation required. Usually 30-45 minutes total time. They offer packages for two and for families. The cost per meal is around $10. Meal selection is easy, and can be changed week by week. You can customize your selections up to the week before your scheduled delivery. You select your delivery day, and they will adjust the actual date if there is a holiday interrupting the scheduled. The meals come with large, easy to follow instruction sheets, and are also available on their app. They have a video instruction on preparation techniques and also a store where you can purchase cookware, spices.

There are many meal delivery companies out there, give them a try. They can easily fit into any eating plan, they can fit most budgets, and they can make you feel like a chef.

Bon Apetit!

Order my book and see how to incorporate meal delivery into a weight loss program of your choice!

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