How Does A Lack Of Physical Activity Affect My Risk Of Developing Diabetes?

Question: How does a lack of physical activity affect my risk of developing diabetes?

Answer: So what we've learned is -- in research community over the years -- that there is this interaction between fitness and the ability of insulin to do its job. We talk about 'insulin action.' So if it doesn't work right, and you've probably read about this word, it's 'insulin resistance,' it's in all the newspapers, it says the insulin isn't working right. So when the muscles are fit and strong, you don't need as much insulin.

In fact, a person who may be lean and close to their ideal body weight may need an average only 40 to 45 units a day.

If you're overweight, you may require 80, 100, even 200 units of insulin a day. But really, walking 20, 30 minutes a day, you know, instead of taking the bus, park your car, walk a little distance, do whatever you can do -- do something. That actually dramatically decreases your body's need for insulin, because the muscle does better the more fit it is, the stronger it is, the less insulin it needs.