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The Metabolically Healthy Runner

A few years ago I read an article in the journal of Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders. It presented data on the state of “metabolic health” in the U.S.— which is defined as having optimal levels of five factors: blood glucose, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, blood pressure, and waist circumference, without the need for medications.

The results were alarming….88% of Americans are estimated to be metabolically unfit.

Y’all. That’s a huge chunk of us. This carries serious implications for public health since poor metabolic health leaves people more vulnerable to developing Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other serious health issues.

Yes, even if you are a runner!

One of the biggest driving factors behind all of this is insulin resistance.

What can you, as a runner, do to be one more metabolically fit?

• prioritize protein at each meal and snack

• eat a wide variety of healthy fats (think—nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocados, fish)

• be carb smart: aim for whole grains, complex carbs and timed with fiber and protein uptake

• strength training — it not only helps prevent injuries as a runner, but it produces metabolically favorable outcomes, especially when we’re talking insulin sensitivity

• rest — it’s not just laying in bed eating whatever you want and downing all the supplements… It is sound sleep, proper nutrition + hydration and stress management

Need help with it all? Send me a DM.

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