Type-2 diabetes occurs when your pancreas is not able to release adequate insulin to metabolize sugar within your blood. Regular exercise in conjunction with a healthy low-sugar, high-fiber diet (think lots of fruits, vegetables and nuts) can ameliorate the effects of type-2 diabetes. Of note, weight training may be particularly beneficial in lessening the effects of high blood sugar because increased lean body mass allows more sugar from your blood (i.e., glucose) to be stored within your muscles in the form of glycogen, your body's fuel source for muscular energy. In other words, increased lean body mass (i.e., muscle) obtained from weight training means less bodyfat which lessens insulin resistance.
How often should you exercise if you have type-2 diabetes? The general recommendation is to lift weights two to three days per week and perform some kind of cardiovascular exercise (e.g., walking, swimming, biking, rowing) four to seven days per week. The weight training should not be too intense (i.e., less than 75% of your 1-rep max which amounts to about 12 to 20 reps before sufficient fatigue) and cardio training should fall within 40 to 70% of your heart rate reserve. It is essential to be aware if you feel dizzy or light-headed. These are symptoms of a low blood sugar level and needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Have a snack and/or glucose tablets available just in case.
Brian Danley, CFT
"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."
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I'm a personal trainer who loves to help others fulfill their health and fitness goals. I consider myself a bodybuilder in that I live the lifestyle of eating healthy food, working out regularly, and sculpting my body.