Resistance training has recently been recognized as a useful therapeutic tool for the treatment of a number of chronic diseases.
Strength training (when done correctly) has been shown to provide a safe and effective way to control blood glucose, increase strength, and improve the quality of life in individuals with diabetes.
Lifting weights is an effective form of exercise for the vast majority of diabetics. It helps improve muscle tone and in some cases increases muscle size. Larger muscles burn more calories even when you are resting. It may also help reduce the risk of heart disease. Before starting any weight lifting routine see your doctor.
How Hard To Exercise
The intensity, at which you should start exercising, depends on your physical condition, age and previous exercise background. What is light exercise to one individual may be hard for another.
Therefore your starting level will depend on your exercise background, physical status and the duration of the exercise to be performed.
It’s a good idea to work with a certified personal trainer, like myself to get a program put in place and teach you the correct exercise technique.
For beginners a good place to start is a whole body circuit, done two to three times a week. Set up your schedule so that you can plan your workouts and make time for yourself.
Studies show that resistance training should be performed on at least 2 days per week, with a minimum of 8–10 exercises involving the major muscle groups for 10–15 repetitions to near fatigue.
For those diabetics who are keen to hit up the weights floor, further studies have highlighted that increased intensity or additional volume of training could produce greater benefits and may be appropriate for some individuals but should be done so under the instruction of fitness professional.
Clinical Considerations Regarding Weight Training for Diabetics
In cases where you have cardiovascular problems and high blood pressure, you need to consult your physician before progressing. Also, use lighter weights, as they will not increase blood pressure as much as the higher loads. It is also important to attempt to minimize the risk of you developing hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose) during exercise. Regular meals such as eating 2 hours before exercise, having a light meal just before exercise, checking your blood glucose before and during exercising, and knowing the warning signs of hypoglycaemia will help exercise tolerance.
DO NOT do strength training if you have type 1 diabetes and your blood glucose level is greater than 250mg/dl or if you have high levels of ketones in your urine. High urinary ketones means that your insulin is too low and your body is breaking down fats for fuel. Don’t exercise until you’ve got your glucose down near normal and your ketones down to just traces.
And please, don’t do resistance training with either type of diabetes if your blood glucose is greater than 300mg/dl.
Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information or program advice.
Happy lifting everyone one!!