Aerobic exercise is a great way to keep healthy and fit and it definitely also lowers your risk of strokes and heart disease. However, you might not be experiencing all the advantages of exercise if you’re not doing some form of resistance training in combination with aerobic training. If you add resistance training to your exercise plan, not only will your muscles tone up, but it can also help to control your blood sugar levels and therefore improve your insulin sensitivity.
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Why Does Lifting Weights Help Manage Type 2 Diabetes?
When lifting weights, excess sugar is cleared out from your system. Glucose is taken from the bloodstream in order to power your muscles. If your muscles are toned, they also tend to store glucose in a much more effective way and this will even help to regulate your blood sugar when you’re not working out.
Lifting weights can further assist with building stronger bones and with weight loss, which is an important factor when it comes to managing type two diabetes. Remember that it is important to incorporate both aerobic training as well as weight lifting into your training program. On top of your strength training regimes, try to also do at least 3 hours of aerobic exercise per week.
How To Add Resistance Training To Your Exercise Plan
If you have never lifted weights before, try start out slowly and not overdo it. Start out by choosing a weight that you can lift 10-15 times. You can either do three sets with this specific weight or you can increase the weight slightly with each set.
Try to give yourself at least a day or two days between weightlifting sessions. When you feel stiff, just reduce the weight for a bit until your muscles feel strong again. Remember that you’ll even be able to see and feel results from doing only one weightlifting session per week. So don’t be too hard on yourself.
You can try anything from bodyweight exercises to resistance bands, free weights or weight machines at the gym to start out with your strength training regime. If you want to get started as soon as possible, with as little equipment as possible, try the following exercises:
- Bicep curls: Hold a dumbbell/free weight in each hand. Palms should be facing up and your arms should be by your sides. Holding your elbows steady, curl the forearms and bring it up to the shoulders and then curl it back down. If you don’t have weights, you can easily also use soup cans or water bottles. This exercise works the biceps.
- Squats: Stand up straight. Bend your knees and push out your bottom while keeping your back straight. You are now in the position you’ll be in when sitting down on a chair. You can hold this position for a few seconds and then return to the standing position. This exercise works the hamstrings and the quadriceps.
- Dips: Sit down on the edge of a chair or on a low table. Place your arms on the chair behind you and lift your bottom off the chair. While keeping your hands on the chair, drop your body down to the floor and lift yourself up again. This exercise works the chest muscle, shoulder muscles and triceps.
- Calf raises: Stand up straight. Lift your heels off the floor until you are balancing on your toes only. Return to start position. This exercise works the calves, hamstrings and even the glutes.
Try to do 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps of each exercise. If you want to try another easy strength training workout for beginners, click here.
Remember To Manage Your Blood Sugar
It is possible that your blood sugar levels can be lowered while doing any type of exercise, so make sure to regulate your blood sugar efficiently. Enjoy a snack before your routine if you find that your blood sugar drops too much. Learn more about how to manage your blood sugar levels.