Resistance training has become a staple with modern day fitness enthusiasts, including individuals with type 2 diabetes. The benefits are incredible and vary from building tone muscle, weight loss, controlling chronic diseases to maintaining a healthy bone density. Before initiating a regimen, make sure to speak with your medical professional regarding any contraindications that may limit specific activities.
The basic definition of resistance training is any exercise which causes muscles to contract against an external resistance. Free weights, dumbbells, resistance bands (large rubber bands that can vary in weight resistance) and your own body weight are examples of resistance training.
Resistance bands are a popular safe resistance training method utilized by all levels of fitness individuals, from the weekend warrior to the elite NFL, NBA and MLB athletes. Resistance bands work as they stretch, creating a constant strain on the muscle fibers and are relatively safe on the joints. They can be adapted to almost any workout and are easily packed for trips and vacations, enabling the user to maintain their routine when traveling.
If dumbbells and free weights are not appealing, body weight is a time tested alternative that is easily accessible.
- Push-ups are a total body exercise. They work the chest, triceps, shoulders, back and core.
- Squats are known as the best exercise for the leg muscles. They can be done with the arms out in front of the body or with the hands behind the ears.
- Chin-ups and pull-ups. These exercises focus on the back muscles, shoulders and biceps muscles.
The Diabetesjournal.org recommends that someone with type 2 diabetes “should be encouraged to perform resistance exercise three times a week, targeting all major muscle groups, progressing to three sets of 8–10 repetitions at a weight that cannot be lifted more than 8–10 times (8–10 RM).”
An overlooked factor of resistance training is that it is also extremely effective at burning fat. There isn’t a magic pill or “secret” shake that will melt away the unwanted fat. The body must burn the fat cells through exercise and the body’s metabolism. Resistance training will burn away those unwanted pounds and with a healthy diet, replace them with lean muscle.
“An impressive finding to highlight with resistance training is that the energy expenditure following the higher total volume workouts appears to be elevated, compared to other forms of exercise, and thus, further contributes to weight loss objectives.” according to the article Resistance Training: Adaptations and Health Implications by Len Kravitz, Ph.D.
Resistance training can be completed anywhere at any time. Whether you decide to walk into your local gym and lift weights, or set up an area in your home to perform body weight exercises, there are many options for you to choose from. Remember to pick the exercises that are fun for you and the exercises that you look forward to performing. Having fun while working out will keep you inspired and motivated to continue a healthy life style!
Note: The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek medical advice for any questions regarding a medical condition or changes in your treatment.