Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It’s characterized by high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood, which can lead to a variety of health complications if left uncontrolled. While proper nutrition and medication are essential for managing diabetes, regular exercise is also important. In particular, strength training can be an effective way to improve diabetes management and overall health. In this blog post, we’ll explore how strength training is important for those with diabetes.
- Improves Insulin Sensitivity
One of the main benefits of strength training for those with diabetes is improved insulin sensitivity. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates glucose uptake and storage in the body. In people with diabetes, insulin resistance is a common problem, meaning their cells don’t respond to insulin properly. Strength training has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, allowing the body to more effectively regulate blood glucose levels.
- Builds Muscle Mass
Strength training involves using resistance (such as weights or bodyweight exercises) to challenge the muscles and promote growth. This can be particularly beneficial for those with diabetes, as it can help increase muscle mass. Muscle is a metabolically active tissue, meaning it burns calories even at rest. By building more muscle, people with diabetes can increase their metabolism and burn more calories, which can aid in weight loss and improved blood glucose control.
- Reduces Cardiovascular Risk
People with diabetes are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death in people with diabetes. Strength training has been shown to improve cardiovascular health, by reducing blood pressure and improving cholesterol levels. Additionally, strength training can help improve circulation, which is particularly important for people with diabetes who may have circulation issues.
- Helps with Weight Management
Maintaining a healthy weight is important for managing diabetes. Excess weight can make it harder for the body to regulate blood glucose levels, and can increase the risk of other health complications. Strength training can be an effective way to manage weight, by increasing muscle mass and boosting metabolism. Additionally, strength training can help burn calories during and after exercise, which can aid in weight loss.
- Increases Overall Fitness
Strength training is a form of exercise that challenges the body and promotes overall fitness. Regular strength training can improve strength, endurance, and flexibility, which can lead to improved quality of life for those with diabetes. Additionally, strength training can improve mental health, by reducing stress and promoting feelings of well-being.
Strength training is an important component of diabetes management. It can improve insulin sensitivity, build muscle mass, reduce cardiovascular risk, aid in weight management, and increase overall fitness. If you have diabetes, talk to your healthcare provider about incorporating strength training into your exercise routine. With proper guidance and a commitment to regular exercise, you can improve your diabetes management and overall health.
If you have other questions or would like to know more about how Strength training can benefit you, please ask our resident Beast, Eric Zucaro!