The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that one in ten Americans have diabetes. For those 10% of diabetic Americans, finding ways to effectively manage their diabetes is a daily exercise. The CDC recommends the following strategies:
- Drinking more water;
- Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables;
- Reducing sugar intake;
- Getting eight hours of sleep per night;
- Introducing a regular exercise regiment; and
- Stress management.
And now, according to a study by Sports Medicine, resistance training is another tool in your diabetes prevention and management toolkit. This study indicates that exercising with resistance bands and weights can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, because it helps regulate blood sugar and improves cardiovascular health.
Exercise and Diabetes Management
In general, scientists have found that people with diabetes can benefit from regular weightlifting and strength training. In fact, strength training may be more beneficial for blood glucose regulation in people with type 2 diabetes than cardiovascular training.
Exercise not only improves blood sugar and increases sensitivity to insulin, but also increases metabolic rate, helps with weight loss, and reduces cardiovascular health risk. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has recommended that adults with type 2 diabetes should do strength training two to three times a week, in addition to 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week and 75 minutes of intense exercise.
What is Resistance Training?
Resistance training is exercise in which your muscles meet with some manner of resistance, either from equipment or from your body’s weight. Kettlebells, medicine balls, free weights, resistance bands, weight machines – these are all examples of equipment that can be used in resistance training.
Resistance training has been found to be particularly effective in combating diabetes, as it can increase muscle mass – which in turn helps to combat insulin resistance, body fat, and high blood sugar levels. Improvements in insulin sensitivity after resistance training were similar to those after aerobic training. The study also shows that strength training increases the insulin sensitivity of skeletal muscles and that this effect occurs during short-term training.
What are Some of the Other Benefits of Resistance Training?
In addition to the diabetes-specific benefits of resistance training, there are a host of other advantages:
- Convenience: Bodyweight exercises, which are a form of resistance training, can be done from anywhere
- Bone health: Resistance training preserves (and increases) muscle mass, which is essential for bone health
- Metabolism-boosting: Your body will burn calories more effectively, both during and after resistance training
- Improved body mechanics: Balance, posture, coordination – all are positively impacted by resistance training
- Positive mental health implications: Resistance training has been shown to increase endorphins (leading to a better mood) and boost energy levels
NHQ is committed to helping you accomplish your health and fitness goals. Our consultants genuinely care about ensuring that our customers are seeing and feeling the results they desire. We are big fans of resistance training and would love to discuss how this activity can be best incorporated into your fitness routine. Drop us a line today!