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Skipping Exercise for Two Days Has Bad Effects

Insulin effect increases risks of obesity and diabetes

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Updated June 07, 2014

Seaside Greenfields Exercise Stations in Tel Aviv Israel

Seaside Greenfields Exercise Stations

Wendy Bumgardner © 2010

If you skip exercise for two days in a row, it has bad effects on your body's use of insulin, increasing your risk of diabetes and obesity.

"The less efficient your insulin is, the greater risk you have of diabetes, heart disease, obesity and hyptertension," researcher David Kump of the University of Missouri-Columbia said.

"Insulin works by taking glucose, or blood sugar, out of the blood stream and into the muscle to be used for energy. Our research found that when the rats stopped running for two days, the amount of sugar taken into the muscle in response to insulin was reduced by about one-third."

Just 2 Days of Inactivity is Bad

"Everyone is looking at the benefits of exercise, but we are looking at the consequences of stopping that exercise," Kump said. "People already know that exercise is good for them. This shows that within a very short time frame of inactivity, the insulin does not work as well and might have negative effects."

Study Shows Insulin Sensitivity Decreased with Two Days of Inactivity

In as little as two days of physical inactivity, a body's efficient use of insulin may decrease, according a study published in the Journal of the Physiological Society, November 17, 2004. Past studies have indicated increases in human blood sugar and insulin as early as five days of inactivity, but these findings show that changes could be occurring even earlier in the muscle, Booth said.

Frank Booth, professor of biomedical science and director of the MU Health Activity Center, and David Kump, a doctoral student in the Department of Medical Pharmacology and Physiology, found that insulin sensitivity decreases the longer the rats stay inactive. This decreased insulin efficiency may be a precursor to diabetes and other related diseases.

The American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health funded the study.

Build Your Exercise Schedule

Walking is a low impact exercise shown to improve the body's use of insulin and glucose and reduce risks of diabetes and obesity. Walking 30-60 minutes a day is recommended by health authorities worldwide.

How to Start Walking
A walking schedule for beginners - go from zero to walking comfortably for 30 minutes a day.

Walk of Life 10-Week Program
Join this free program to get into the exercise habit. Each day you receive a walking and exercise assignment, nutrition tip, healthy recipe, and more.

Sources:

MU press release 01/05/05

David S Kump, Frank W Booth. "Alterations in insulin receptor signalling in the rat epitrochlearis muscle upon cessation of voluntary exercise." Journal of Physiology. November 18, 2004.

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