Muscle Mass - The Miracle for T1D Control.

Insulin resistance is a major concern for all diabetics, both Type 1 and Type 2. But is there a way to reduce your resistance and use less insulin on a daily basis?

There, sure, is and it is exercise. This article explains the science behind insulin sensitivity and the reasons why you want to start growing more muscle mass now.

- How do we become insulin resistant?

Insulin resistance means that your cells will not want to accept the signals of the hormone insulin, and consequently not allow glucose from the bloodstream to enter your cells.

Fat cells are less receptive to insulin naturally, which means the more fat cells you have, the more insulin resistant you will become. Contrarily, muscle cells are very efficient in utilising insulin naturally, and they become even more efficient in their active state (and post activity), so your insulin resistance will do down if you have more muscles cells.

Having a large amount of muscle tissue means that you will have a large “muscle tank” for glucose. The blood circulation in muscle tissue is also a lot faster than in fat tissue or skeletal tissue, which means that the delivery and utilisation of insulin will be much more efficient.

- How fast does insulin work? How can I inject around exercise?

Insulin has various action times, but overall, we can say that if a muscle has been recently active or will be active shortly, then the area where the muscle is located will be much more sensitive to insulin.

You must be careful when correcting high blood sugars prior, during and post exercise, as you will likely need much less insulin, often ½ the usual correction dose. If you inject into muscle that will be use during the activity, for example, the quads before cycling, you will get a much faster response from insulin. However, you also put yourself at a high risk of going low.

- Why does exercise help improve insulin sensitivity?

Exercise is so good for your health, because it speeds up your metabolism, which means that the delivery and utilisation of biochemical substances, such as hormones and nutrients will be much more efficient.

Growing muscle mass is a long and tedious process, but the outcomes and the feeling when you get there is amazing. Training for muscle growth is much more than just exercising. When you train, you take rest days as an essential step to progress, meals out as a part of your fitness plan. Training for muscle mass with progressive overload allows you a much more flexible lifestyle.

For a Type 1 Diabetic, training for muscle growth will lead to a much higher understanding of blood glucose, as we start understanding how important BG control is for muscle growth.

You become much more in tune with your body and your blood sugars, and want to learn a lot more about how your body functions and why it does so.

- Why do we want more muscle mass?

- Muscle increases our insulin sensitivity and allows us to use much less insulin. The less insulin we use, the lower the risk of hypos (this is not always true).

- Muscle tissue burns more calories in rest state than fat tissue, which means that you will be burning more calories overall and will be able to increase your maintenance calorie amount.

- You will gain more strength and feel better during your workout and in day-to-day physical activities.

- You will improve your metabolism and be able to recover faster as well as process more nutrients in a shorter period of time.

- You will be more confident in yourself, and proud of your achievements in the gym, which improves overall quality of life.

- Gaining more muscle mass helps improve bone density and joint strength.

- Overall better mental state and body image.

Muscle mass is awesome! There are absolutely no drawbacks to having more of it. It does take effort to grow lean mass, more effort than to lose weight. However, the benefits much outweigh the struggles. Stop making excuses and get yourself in the weight room NOW!

Have no idea where to start? Get in touch now and enrol onto the T1Level 1-2-1 coaching programs!


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