Without question, trying to get pumped up to change your lifestyle can be overwhelming. Knowing that the solution isn’t painful crash dieting but gradual lifestyle change, focusing on one new habit at at time, can make it easier.
For anyone ready to take on one new strategy, hands down my suggestion would be to just start moving. Even without weight loss, physical activity ramps up production of a protein inside your cells called glucose transporter protein, or GLUT-4. While insulin is outside your body’s cells trying to get the cells to open up and accept glucose from the blood (thereby lowering your blood glucose levels), GLUT-4 inside the cell is reaching out the cell’s surface to grab the glucose and bring it in. The trigger for the production of GLUT-4? Physical activity! Because activity increases the efficiency of movement of glucose out of the blood and into the cells, 100 years ago almost no one had diabetes because life was so physically grueling! Along with obesity and gout, diabetes was considered a disease of the affluent, who were the only ones able to live a life of luxury where food was widely available and all of life’s “heavy lifting” was done by others.
If you’re currently racking up negligible minutes of physical activity, set your sights on a simple goal of 10 minutes of moving. Walk, cycle, garden, vacuum, mow the lawn – any thing that isn’t sitting counts. Studies show that as little as ten minutes of physical activity provides health benefits. Once you start setting aside some time to move, you can build on your duration. Many small changes can eventually add up to a lifetime of doing things differently. Don’t think about calories burned, but rather time spent not sitting. Start today!