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Kinesiology

When it comes to changing your metabolism, small choices mean big results

Understand your metabolism and learn how to modify it

By Kathryn Stroppel

man with test tubes

We’ve seen the headlines: 1 in 3 Americans has obesity, and only 1 in 4 meet physical activity guidelines. We also know that many people struggle with weight gain and aren’t getting enough physical activity as they age.

As a result, nearly 100 million U.S. adults have prediabetes, the impaired regulation of blood sugar, which is common, serious and costly, yet many don’t know it. For those who do, and those concerned about it, what can be done? 

CPHHS Translational Metabolism Research Laboratory researchers Matt Robinson and Sean Newsom answer these questions, discuss metabolic health and provide tips on making empowered, positive choices in the one-hour Public Health Insider webcast “Modifying metabolism: small choices, big results.” 

In the episode, they define metabolism and share ways to fend off diabetes. They also discuss how weight gain impairs blood sugar, the long-term impacts of high blood sugar, how our metabolism changes as we age, possible treatments for prediabetes, the importance of all forms and intensity of physical activity, and the impact of small lifestyle changes on our metabolism. 

The bottom line? Over time, small changes build up, with both good and bad effects. High blood sugar and fats over time have major, long-lasting impacts such as an increased risk of hardening arteries, heart disease and cancer. 

On the flip side, small, consistent lifestyle modifications can also make a major difference, regardless of age or ethnicity. In fact, Sean and Matt found that just a single session of exercise significantly improves insulin sensitivity.  

They suggest, at a minimum, walking for two minutes for every 30 minutes you sit. And remember, any physical activity, at any intensity, is good for our health, independent of weight loss.  

To learn more about the lab and Matt and Sean’s new research into identifying treatments for prediabetes, visit the lab’s website.  

Check out all Public Health Insider episodes.