Strength training is a key part of any fitness plan.
Don’t belong to a gym with weight machines? No problem! You can use hand-held weights, resistance bands, or even your own body weight to build muscle.
As you age, strength training (also called resistance training), can help you keep doing everyday activities such as walking, lifting things, and climbing stairs. Plus, it’s good for your bones.
Health Benefits Of Strength Training For Diabetics
For people with diabetes, strength training helps the body :
Respond better to insulin
Improve the way it uses blood sugar
Lower your risk for heart disease
Studies show that it’s as good as aerobic exercise at boosting how well your body uses insulin. (Also doing aerobic exercise may be even better.)
It is recommended that people with type1 &type 2 diabetes start a strength training program to help with blood sugar control.
If you’re not active now, check in with your doctor first. Ask if there are any moves you should avoid.
It’s a good idea to work with a certified fitness instructor or trainer, so you learn the right way to do each exercise.
Your strength training program should work your whole body two to three times a week. Set up your schedule so that you work different muscle groups on different days, or do a longer workout less often.
Don’t work the same muscle groups 2 days in a row. Give your muscles a chance to recover and get stronger!
When you get started, set yourself up for success with a moderate schedule. Do each move 10-15 times (one set) up to three times a week.
Once you get used to that, you can gradually do more, until you’re doing three sets of 10-15 repetitions up to three times a week.
Always warm up before you exercise. Brisk walking is a good way to do that. When you’re done strength training, do a series of stretches, holding each stretch for 30 to 60 seconds, to end your workout.
Lift Weights to Control Diabetes
When you do strength training exercises that target muscles, your body uses glucose from your bloodstream to power them, which can help clear out excess sugar from your system.Toned muscles also store glucose more effectively, and that helps regulate blood sugar even when you’re at rest.
Strength training also helps build stronger bones and it promotes weight loss — an important goal for many with type 2 diabetes — because the more muscles you have, the more calories you burn.
Keep in mind that strengthening exercises are just one part of a well-rounded fitness program. In addition to strength training twice a week, it is recommended that adults also get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, such as jogging or cycling, each week.
In fact, while both aerobics and strength training are helpful when you have diabetes, a long-term program of both produces the greatest health benefits,
Three Strength Training Exercises
Motivated to add strength training to your fitness routine, but not sure how? Here’s how to get started.
If you’ve never done strength training, start slow and resist overdoing it. Steady progression is key. For instance, with exercises involving handheld weights, choose a weight that you will be able to lift for one set of 8 to 10 reps . Work toward completing one set of 15 reps each and then move on to higher weights and/or two to three sets.
Always rest muscles at least one day between sessions. If you feel sore, ease up until you feel better.
You can strength-train with free weights, resistance bands, and exercises that use your own body weight as resistance. At the gym, try weight machines, which are often better for learning proper form. Work with a personal trainer to find the best exercises for you.
If you want to do strength training exercises at home that require little or no extra equipment, these simple moves can get you started:
Chair dips. Stand with your back to a sturdy chair or low table. Sit on the edge of the chair, with your arms behind you. Place your palms on the edge, fingers pointed toward you. Lift your buttocks off the chair and walk your feet forward, making sure your knees don’t bend past your toes. Slowly bend your elbows, lowering your body down, and then straighten. This works several upper-body muscles, including the triceps (rear upper arm), deltoids (part of the shoulder), and pectoral (chest) muscles.
Wall squats. Stand with your back against a wall, feet about a foot in front of you. Bend your knees as you lower your back along the wall until you are in a position similar to one you’d be in if sitting in a chair. Hold for several seconds, then return to standing. This works the quadriceps and hamstrings (front and back of the thighs).
Curls. Hold a lightweight dumbbell in each hand, arms at your sides with palms facing up. Holding elbows steady, curl up your forearms to bring the weights almost to your shoulders, then return to starting position. If you don’t have dumbbells, try this with two soup cans or water bottles. Curls work the biceps (muscles on the front of upper arms).
For each of these exercises, aim for one or two sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.
Managing Blood Sugar While Strength Training
Check with your doctor before starting a strength training program. As with any exercise, strength training can lower your blood sugar level, so you should check your blood sugar before and after exercising to see what kind of effect the activity has on your body.
If your blood sugar dips too low, you may want to have a snack before or during your routine. It may also be a good idea to talk to your doctor about changing your medications to allow for your increased physical activity.
Above all, be smart about your new exercise routine to keep it safe and enjoyable. The best thing to do is start slow.You can gradually increase the intensity and reach your goals.
For more great Health and Nutrition Tips refer to the website positivehealthwellness.com.
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