DIABETES VS HIIT
We all use to do it. Whether we were playing hide and go seek, freeze tag or riding our bikes playing chase, we all at some point habitually did HIIT. In fact, doing HIIT seemed to come so natural to us that is was baked into our play. It was never something that had to be taught.
What is high intensity interval training or HIIT? HIIT is Going TOP SPEED for a short burst followed by a short rest period in between followed by several more rounds of going all out.
Essentially, this is kind of fancy talk for being a kid again! Although a very popular method among kids, the health effects of HIIT are anything but child’s play.
As a Physician Assistant, Nutrition and Fitness coach, HIIT is a methodology that I prescribe to all my patients, but more especially for those who are pre-diabetic or have type 2 Diabetes. For my patients who choose to implement it, it does wonders for their health.
You see, type 2 diabetes and HIIT are essentially natural enemies. HIIT gives the pathology of diabetes extreme difficulty when trying to persist as a disease. And, if you think about the core essence and physiology of both, this makes perfect sense. Employing a regimented strategy of HIIT workouts can serve as a devastating strike to diabetes.
What is Diabetes?
Other than being a pain in the ass, this is a dysfunction related to the ability of your cells to respond to the effectively to insulin, essentially a dysfunction in the ability of the pancreas to produce insulin.
We have trillions of cells, and these cells each need fuel to perform their job. When these cells have their fuel, they of course are able to function, but when it has difficulty receiving this fuel, the effects are noticeable. The source of fuel mainly used is called glucose. Glucose is a simple sugar that comes from the foods we eat containing carbohydrates.
When we ingest carbohydrate containing foods, glucose enters our bloodstream at varying rates. Depending on the source and quality of that carbohydrate, the rate at which your blood sugar levels increases can be fast or slow.
Just like many of the hormones in your body, insulin is a hustler and thus has multiple jobs. One of its jobs is delivering nutrients to our cells to be utilized.
The Key, the Lock, and Jam!?
I love analogies. They help me explain and understand complicated situations that may have initially been difficult to breakdown, but of course it also has it’s limitations. However, for the sake of explaining insulin resistance, I will use the classic analogy of the “the key, the lock, and the jam.”
In this analogy, picture insulin as being a key, and then picture your muscle cells as being a door with a lock. The goal of the key (insulin) is to get is to get the glucose (energy) into the locked door (muscle cells) so that they can function properly.
But in the case of insulin resistance, several factors, one being fat, serves as JAM inside of the door lock. SMH…but walk with me.
With this jam being inside of the door lock (cells), the key (insulin) is having great difficulty getting the energy (glucose) where it needs to be. This is called insulin resistance.
The key (insulin) will continue to try to open the door (muscle cells), and in some cases it may be successful, but for the most part, the energy (blood sugar) will continue to increase in the blood stream, which has multiple adverse effects, one being glycation or accelerated aging.
Although there is plenty of energy available, we are essentially witnessing cell starvation in the face of plenty. Your cells will continue to demand that your pancreas do its job by producing insulin, for the sake of delivering the glucose to the cells, until eventually your pancreas has been overworked and thus eventually has difficulty producing insulin.
Bringing it Back to HIIT
Knowing one of the common symptoms of diabetes is also a power tool when understood, and that is fatigue. When your cells, are having difficulty receiving energy, you of course will feel fatigued.
However, with all that being said, high intensity interval training has been shown to momentarily override this insulin resistance, thus making the muscle cells very much sensitive to the glucose present in the bloodstream, without the use of insulin, which in turn done consistently, will increase insulin sensitivity, while also improving the function of your pancreas.(1)
In fact, multiple studies have been done showing the effects of HIIT as is relates to insulin sensitivity(2, 3). Once again, employing a regimented strategy of HIIT workouts can serve as a devastating strike to diabetes!
The reason to why this happens, has been well documented. Each cell has glucose transporters (GLUT4) which are usually activated by insulin in order to allow glucose into the cell. However, HIIT sends your muscles into beast mode, because the INTENSE contraction of the muscles, will now simulate the GLUT4 transporters, absorbing glucose whether insulin is available or not.
Clinically, I have seen this work multiple times with my own patients who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. When I give them a prescribed workout plan of HIIT, along with several other easy to implement changes, their HA1c and several other markers for diabetes improve.
This, along with several other strategies have worked so well as far improving overall health, that I have created my own systems and methodology for health improvement that I have seen clinically work.
Join me Monday, January 16, 2017 on MLK day as I will be doing a free Masterclass webinar called, “How to Accomplish Your Health & Fat Loss Goals Now.”
Not only will I be giving you 3 practical proven strategies that you can use in real time, all attendees will receive 3 free gifts to actually show them how to implement the strategies given.
For more information and to sign up, click on the link, sign up and I will see you there.
Edward C.A.S.H. Williams