“I enjoy walking outside and taking in the natural sounds of birds and the wind rustling the leaves. I can get extreme pleasure just from looking up at the sky—even when I walk in the city.”
The key to getting and/or staying lean and avoiding diseases (such as Type 2 Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even some cancers) is to maintain your sensitivity to insulin.
Insulin? What’s that?
Insulin is a very important hormone manufactured by your pancreas. Your simple choices about what you eat most often and how you exercise can make you insulin sensitive (GOOD) or insulin resistant (VERY BAD). Insulin resistance leads to obesity, metabolic syndrome, Type 2 Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
Insulin Sensitivity: KEEPING THE FAT OFF
Can you guess what this little guy is?
It’s a mitochondrion (not to be confused with a hypochondriac). One makes energy, and the other makes excuses.
This is a little energy factory. There are millions of mitochondria in your body, and they are responsible for producing the simplest unit of energy that keeps your body alive: ATP. Interestingly, the mitochondria live in our muscle tissue. Most of them live in a certain kind of muscle called the slow twitch muscles. These are the large muscles that govern movement that requires oxygen, like your diaphragm and your larger leg muscles.
The mitochondria are where your insulin resistance or insulin sensitivity takes place. You want to be sensitive to insulin. That keeps you burning fat. When your body becomes resistant to insulin, you store fat. Not only that, but your body produces huge quantities of insulin because of your acquired resistance to it—and irritates your blood vessel linings (read: cardiovascular disease) as well as causing the start of other degenerative diseases.
THE IMPORTANCE OF NON-EXERCISE
Here’s some good news for people who don’t like to exercise much:
The way you exercise can actually increase your sensitivity to insulin, thereby causing you to burn fat more often! It just so happens that your walking muscles comprise about 70% of your total muscle mass, and most of our mitochondria reside in our walking (slow twitch) muscles!
WHEN YOU USE YOUR SLOW TWITCH MUSCLES REGULARLY, YOU BECOME INSULIN-SENSITIVE, THEREBY BURNING MORE FAT, MORE OFTEN. Yay!
You’ve got three kinds of muscle fibers: slow twitch, fast twitch, and super-fast twitch. Slow twitch fibers contract more slowly and require oxygen like when you are walking or jogging, and breathing (diaphragm). Fast twitch fibers contract quickly and don’t require oxygen. You use your fast twitch muscles while weight lifting, and your super-fast twitch muscles are engaged in activities like sprinting.
Scientists did a study in Switzerland to find out which exercise worked better at increasing insulin sensitivity: walking up and riding down the mountain, OR riding up and walking down. Results proved that riding up and walking downhill improved insulin sensitivity more. Hallelujah!
I don’t want to discourage you from weight lifting or sprinting. But really, now. We’re looking for the easier way to get to your body goals—and we’re going step-by-step. Feel free to add in sprinting and weight lifting. But remember: When you exercise too vigorously, like the guy sweating on the treadmill, you are working too hard to burn fat efficiently.
About Slow Twitch Sleep Mode and the Fidget Factor
Your slow twitch muscles will go into sleep mode unless you use them every 24-48 hours, depending on your normal activity level. People like me (hyperactive) who are always moving around, tend to stay leaner because they are keeping those mitochondria out of sleep mode. If you have a desk job, for example, you will need that walk every day. Fidgeters and people who move around at their jobs all day long may only need the walk every second or third day in order to keep the mitochondria awake.
To Melt Fat, Take a Fat-Burning Walk 5 Days a Week
If you have fat on your body you’d like to see disappear, walk in the fat-burning zone 30 minutes a day. Do this 5 to 7 days a week to see quick results. If you are looking to stay lean (but not lose more fat), you still need to do it, but only around 3 days a week, depending on your activity level and fidget factor. Add this non-exercise regimen to my dietary recommendations for turning your body into a Mean, Lean, Fat-Burning Machine and you will uncover your body’s vibrant health!
Get more tips on claiming vibrant health in the eBook, Claim Your Best Body – The Easier Way!