And while any excess fat cranks up the risk of diabetes, fat in your midsectionwhich tends to swaddle organs that play a key role in regulating blood sugaris a bigger contributor to risk.
Insulin normally triggers the liver to take up extra blood glucose and store the energy for future use. But when the liver is submerged in fat tissue, insulin "can't get the liver to respond," he says.
Regular exercise makes cells more sensitive to insulin, so they absorb more blood sugar. Exercise also improves your cholesterol and lowers blood pressure.
Exercise helps even if you don't lose weight. But if you do, you have added protection against the disease. You don't need to lose a ton of weight to benefit.