1. Exercise helps us immensely in improving insulin sensitivity and enhancing glucose utilization by the cells.
2. Since our body requires energy and energy comes from glucose (from the food which we eat), by working out the body, we burn the stored supplies of glucose (glycogen) in the liver and muscle cells which helps metabolize (reduce) glucose in the blood and thus maintain glucose balance in the blood.
3. Exercise reduces total body fat. Being overweight puts an additional burden on the liver. When total body fat is reduced, fat content in the liver is simultaneously reduced, often resulting in a significant reduction of elevated liver enzymes.
4. According to Dr. Melissa Palmer, a specialist in treating liver disease, an exercise program that includes aerobic/cardiovascular conditioning and strength training will have the greatest effect on liver function. Aerobic exercises like walking, bicycling, jogging and swimming will improve your cardiovascular system’s ability to oxygenate your blood and deliver it to the liver and the rest of the body. Strength training helps maintain bone mass, increases muscle strength and mass, and helps prevent weight gain through elevation of the metabolism.
5. Insulin sensitivity is increased, so your cells are better able to use any available insulin to take up glucose during and after activity.
6. When your muscles contract during activity, it stimulates another mechanism that is completely separate of insulin. This mechanism allows your cells to take up glucose and use it for energy whether insulin is available or not.
7. The liver’s response to exercise:
During exercise, or other forms of physical activity, the liver plays a part in regulating blood glucose levels.
When you begin physical activity, glycogen from the muscles are mobilised to be used as a source of fuel.
As glucose is taken up by the muscles, the liver releases glucose into the blood. The liver can only store a certain amount of glucose and so if strenuous exercise is sustained, the body will need to get its energy from other sources.
When the liver has released its glucose stores, the body will break down fats which are converted into another source of fuel, ketones, by the liver.
"If exercise could be packed into a pill, it would be the single most prescribed and beneficial medication in the nation." Robert Butler, National Institute on Aging.