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Being Active With Type 2 Diabetes

Strength-Training Exercises

While getting that heart rate up is an important part of a good exercise program for people with type 2 diabetes, it's also important to add in some strength-training exercises. This can include hand weights, elastic bands, or weight machines. Doing strength training at least three times a week can help build muscle. The more muscle and less fat you have, the more calories you'll burn, as muscle burns more calories than fat.
Strength training also has other benefits, such as improving your balance and coordination and helping with bone health. You don't have to join the gym to do strength training -- you can do it in the comfort of your own home.
Specifically, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends that people with type 2 diabetes perform strength-training (resistance) exercises at least two days a week, with a minimum of 8 to 10 exercises that involve the major muscle groups. It is the goal to progress to three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions to near-fatigue, with two to three minutes of rest between sets. To help prevent injury, make sure you talk to your healthcare provider or another qualified exercise specialist to find a strength-training exercise regimen that works best for you.
Some people may be advised to try for resistance training three times a week, progressing to 8 to 10 repetitions at a weight that cannot be lifted 8 to 10 times. Your healthcare provider can help you to decide what regimen works best for your particular situation.
Some examples of strength-training exercises include:
  • Squats, which help to strengthen the hips, thighs, and buttocks
  • Wall push-ups, which help to strengthen the arms, shoulders, and chest
  • Toe stands, which help to strengthen the calves and ankles, as well as improving stability and balance
  • Bicep curls, which help to strengthen the biceps (if you don't have weights, how about using that gallon of milk in the fridge?)
  • Step-ups, which help to strengthen the legs, hips, and buttocks
  • Overhead press, which helps to strengthen the arms, upper back, and shoulders
  • Hip abduction exercises, which help to strengthen the hips, thighs, and buttocks.
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Information on Type 2 Diabetes

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