ISSUE #49                           



     -“Diabetes: A Preventable Disease of Lifestyle”
-“Guest column: “A View on ‘Cutting’ Exercises”


Diabetes is an issue that will affect everyone at one point in life, whether directly or indirectly. This newsletter will provide you with more information on diabetes and perhaps will lead to lifestyle changes that can help you, your friends, and family, avoid this terrible and mostly preventable disease.

A person with "adult-onset" diabetes (Type II) has high blood sugar levels because the cells of the body do not respond to insulin (they are "insulin-resistant"). Insulin is a hormone released from the pancreas and stimulates blood sugar uptake by cells of the body.

The cells then use this sugar for energy, however chronically elevated blood sugar levels can be unhealthy. In 1996, it was reported that the number of diabetes cases is going to double to 250 million worldwide by 2025. Type II diabetes is referred to as a lifestyle disease.

By lifestyle disease, this means that factors under our control are the primary factors behind the development of diabetes. The biggest risk factors are obesity, lack of exercise, and poor nutrition. These factors are promoted in Western society by the convenience and hectic schedule that seem to plague everyone.

The North American diet is full of processed foods with poor nutritive value. According to American Society of Bariatric Physicians, obesity has increased due to increased sugar consumption. Processed foods (i.e. white bread) quickly increase blood sugar and are referred to as high-glycemic index (GI) foods. The Nurses Health Study from Harvard examined 75000 nurses and found women eating more high-GI foods had twice the risk of heart disease. As well, high blood sugar levels may damage blood vessels and induce insulin resistance over time.

In addition, this sedentary lifestyle has led many to abandon daily exercise. Two hours in a car and 9 hours behind a desk (at least) are quite a contrast to the daily activities most people had as students. Again and again, authors state that changes in diet, exercise, and weight loss are the keys to treating and preventing diabetes. Authors recommend reducing processed food and sugar intake.

Avoid a "Mega-sized burger, fries, and pop" habit. Weight loss is a big help in avoiding diabetes as well. Losing 10% of excess fat can improve health. Researchers believe that diabetes is also a "skeletal muscle" disease and that people should go to the gym and resistance train. Lose fat. Add muscle.

On a disease-related exercise note, research has also shown that intense aerobic exercise prevents heart disease. The key was intensity and not duration. They found that people that performed 15 min of hard aerobic exercise a couple of times a week had less heart disease (Harvard Alumni Health Study, Circulation 102: 975-986, 2000). So lift, work hard, eat proper and in moderation, and you will increase your odds of long-lasting good health.

Okay, that is enough preaching. There will always be people that can smoke, drink, eat poorly, and not exercise and still live to 90 years of age. However, statistics suggest that more people will be getting ill due to their lifestyle choices. Fortunately, the stats show that this can be avoided and even treated with lifestyle changes. Make the necessary changes and read more on how lifestyle interacts with diabetes.


McMaster Kinesiology graduate and registered massage therapist Mike Zappetelli had a few words to add to the "cutting exercise" article in Issue #48. Mike is a personal trainer, massage therapist, and nutrition and wellness specialist (R.M.T. C.P.T., N.W.S.). He has been a guest author before (back in Issue #7) and brings excellent practical and academic knowledge to apply to his client's training programs.

Here is what Mike had to say:

Finally, an article that dispelled the awful myth of "cutting up". As a bodybuilder, I know what it takes to get "ripped" and show muscle definition. As a personal trainer, I have to teach this to my clients, day in and day out. It is really quite simple.

Diet has to do with 70-80% of training and what you look like. The actual training and stimuli that you place on your body will make up the remaining 20-30%. The only thing that happens in the gym is energy expenditure and muscle damage. Rest and proper nutrition will help to replenish this lost energy and at the same time repair those damaged muscle tissues. If you rest and are fed properly, you are more likely bound for greater repair, hence muscle adaptation and growth. If this occurs, the recently attained muscle mass will burn more calories at rest. Greater lean mass will result in greater energy expenditure.

It's important to realize that although proper rest and nutrition is essential for muscle growth, this change will not happen overnight, nor will someone getting cut up. This is how supplement companies market their products, by telling the public that they can achieve these results sooner than they think. Changing reps and sets and amounts of weight lifted does not necessarily get you ripped. It's the amount of intensity that you lift with that may determine and help you to achieve your desired results.

Bodybuilders writing programs in magazines have found something that they use to cut down. It's different for everybody. Theoretically, the more energy you can expend per workout is the key. So CB is correct, high reps and low resistance is not necessarily better nor is it vice-versa, it is the intensity that is key.

As I already mentioned, I am a natural, drug-free competitive bodybuilder. When it comes time to diet for a show, I do not do any cardio. I step up my training schedule a little and really watch what I eat. I do this year-round anywise to prevent dropping too much weight. The key to dieting is to cut out any refined foods. The final product is a change from 5-6% body-fat off-season, to a ~2% ripped physique on contest day...with no cardio.

The best analogy that I like to use is the Parka and the Armani suit. The parka is the fat and the Armani is the muscle. No matter what suit you have underneath that Parka, you'll never see it until you take off the Parka. So those who think that specific exercises will rid certain areas of fat and get ripped, must think again. Sit-ups will not get you that 'six-pack' to show off at the beach. They will develop the abdominal muscles, but without proper nutrition and constant exercise, you'll never remove that 'Parka' to show off that suit.

Moderate and heavy weight training is effective for most goals. Muscle is the result and muscle will help burn more calories. Starving yourself, doing excessive aerobic activity, and using too low of an intensity in your resistance training will not bring anyone the body they desire! You will get better results within significantly shorter and less frequent workouts, provided they are intense!


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