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Curr Diabetes Rev. 2007 Aug;3(3):176-84.

Physical activity, insulin action, and diabetes prevention and control.

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  • 1Exercise Science, Sport, Physical Education, and Recreation Department, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia 23529, USA.


Control of blood glucose levels in individuals with diabetes mellitus (DM) is directly affected by the balance between insulin and glucose-raising endocrine hormones, along with other metabolic factors, including fuel use and availability, exercise intensity and duration, training status, and visceral fat levels, all of which can impact the effect of physical activity on insulin action in diabetic or prediabetic individuals. Current research suggests that type 2 DM can be prevented and controlled with increased physical activity, largely through improvements in the muscles' sensitivity to insulin that are affected by changes in both glucose and fat metabolism. In addition, abnormal insulin action in the body is associated with a host of other health conditions, including cardiovascular disease and hypertension, which can be better controlled when their associations are fully understood. This article discusses the importance of varying types of physical activity on insulin action to enhance metabolic control and how they can be undertaken safely by all diabetic individuals.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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