If you have diabetes, you might want to consider strength training. Of course, any regular exercise is important for those with diabetes. Aerobic exercises such as walking or swimming can help you lose weight, improve your heart health, and better control your blood sugar.
Strength training is another form of exercise that is beneficial for those with diabetes. Also known as resistance training, strength training usually involves lifting weights in order to build muscle. You can also increase your strength by pushing or working against something that resists your weight, such as doing pushups.
with diabetes can seem like a full-time job -- trying to keep up with
everything you need to do for proper diabetes care.
"Diabetes is a very time-consuming disease to manage well," says
Karmeen Kulkarni, MS, RD, CDE, and former president of health care and
education for the American Diabetes Association. "The medication, the food, the physical activity -- you add life
in general to that whole picture and it ends up being quite
If you have diabetes, strength training can improve your quality of life by allowing you to continue to perform everyday activities such as walking, lifting, and climbing stairs as you get older. Strength training can also help reduce your risk for osteoporosis and painful fractures.
Diabetes and the Benefits of Strength Training
If you have diabetes, research has shown that strength training can:
Improve insulin sensitivity
Improve glucose tolerance
Help you lose weight
Lower your risk for heart disease
In scientific studies, strength training has been found to improve insulin sensitivity in those individuals with diabetes to the same extent that aerobic exercise does. Extended periods of strength training improve blood sugar control as well as taking a diabetes drug. In fact, in those people with diabetes, strength training in combination with aerobic exercise may be even more beneficial.
Before You Start Strength Training
Talk to your doctor before you start any exercise program. Your doctor may want to examine you to make sure you are able to do the exercise program without injuring yourself.
Strength Training and Diabetes Guidelines
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that people with type 2 diabetes start a strength training program to help with blood sugar control. The program can begin with a moderate schedule (one set of 10-15 repetitions with weights up to three times a week). Once you become accustomed to the moderate schedule, you can move on up to three sets of 10-15 repetitions with weights up to three times a week.
As with any type of exercise, with strength training always warm up before exercising and then take time to cool down afterward.
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Your level is currently
If the level is below 70 and you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.
People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.
Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.
However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.
Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.
One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
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