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Short-Term Exercise Helps Even the Sedentary

I devote a good portion of my twice-weekly newsletter to contributing editors, like Paul Chek and Ben Lerner, who excel in the arena of exercise and support the nutritional concepts and whole health philosophies I practice daily at my clinic with my patients.

If I haven't provided enough incentives for you to get moving through optimal health -- as if enjoying a longer life, slowing down the aging process and feeling better about yourself isn't enough -- here's another plus for those who still find themselves "exercise-challenged."

Researchers have found carefully controlling the amount of food and drink formerly sedentary, overweight people ingest during and after short-term exercise has a significant impact on insulin action. The same study showed a measurable affect on the participants' cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors.

After ONLY SIX DAYS of enough treadmill exercise to burn 500 kilocalories each day, eight subjects in a group who received no energy replacement showed a 40 percent increase in insulin action. However, insulin action was unchanged in the placebo group who were required to finish a sports drink during exercise and additional food afterward to "replace" the 500 k/cal.

The findings suggest subtle changes in energy balance that precede measurable fat loss play a key role in mediating the beneficial effects of exercise on whole-body insulin action, scientists said. Additionally, exercise can be used to prevent or delay the transition from insulin resistance (prediabetes) to overt type-2 diabetes, and to manage blood sugar in people who already have diabetes.

EurekAlert October 7, 2004

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