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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

How To Exercise For Type 2 Diabetes

Everyone knows we should exercise whether  or not we are afflicted with diabetes. Where most of us fall down is in knowing. What kind of exercise?,  and How much of it is enough? and How often? Hopefully this post will shed some light on that subject.My research indicates that even if you are getting good control with your current medications, as time goes by without changing your dietary habits and exercise program, you will need higher and higher doses of medication to keep your blood glucose levels within target range. IF you start taking your Type 2 Diabetes seriously, you can reverse it. If not, you will likely follow the pattern of controlling your glucose levels with a low dose of medication at first, then gradually increasing the doseage, then switching to a stronger medication or perhaps adding additional medications, to then graduating to insulin shots, and then maybe even ending up on an insulin pump which constantly meters your glucose and just meters insulin automatically to you. I do NOT WANT to go there, and neither should you. Today is the day to do something about it, NOT tomorrow as tomorrow NEVER COMES. Today is all we have. Remember that today IS the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

Link to Weight Resistance Training For Diabetes

"Why is Exercise So Important In Diabetes?
Exercise is critical in diabetes because exercise is your body’s cue that you need to absorb and use sugar, so without exercise (or strenuous occupational activity) there is no cue and the sugar just stays in your blood stream. Unfortunately, your body doesn’t stop absorbing sugar, it just keeps it in the blood after storing a whole lot as fat.
Specifically, exercise stimulates your muscles (which like to fed glucose) to produce more insulin receptors - including receptors that do not require insulin to transport sugar into the muscle. Thinking about this in terms of the “lock in the door” analogy I have used in previous articles, insulin fits into the insulin receptor like a key fits into the lock in a door. The key fits, turns and you pass through the door. Imagine insulin is the key, the insulin receptor is the lock and sugar is you - insulin fits into the receptor and sugar passes through the door. In diabetes it is as if someone stuck gum into the lock- the key no longer fits or functions properly. Now imagine if there was a way to make more doors - including some without locks! This is exactly what exercise, and especially resistance exercise, appears to do. Your body has the potential to make doors for glucose to be absorbed that do not require insulin to work - however exercise is the trigger for this process to occur"

"How is it Special in Diabetes?
Weight training is special for a few reasons in diabetes. For one, it appears to more effective than aerobic exercise in increasing your basal metabolic rate (BMR) [1]. Your BMR is essentially the number of calories you consume just while sitting. So assuming your caloric intake stays constant, raising your BMR leads to weight loss.
Additionally weight training seems more effective at increasing lean muscle mass as well as increasing strength [1]. These may not sound like great benefits, however lean muscle mass is particularly insulin sensitive tissue, and therefore insulin sensitivity improves. Because glucose from your meals is absorbed predominantly by your muscle tissue, strength training is particularly good at improving elevated blood sugars following meals." 

(My Input) 
The advantages of weight resistance training to type 2 diabetics include but are not limited to:
  • Improved blood cholesterol profiles
  • Better heart function
  • Improved blood glucose levels and insulin sensitivity
  • Improved muscular strength
  • Improved bone strength (somewhere I read that 90% of people in nursing homes are there because they are unable to get up out of a chair without assistance)
  • Improved blood pressure

Where am I at right now as of today in this progression?

I have now worked out a routine that involves starting out by doing 15 push ups, and then 15 squats without weights. For old guys like me, that gets the kinks out of the shoulders and the knees, ankle joints etc.
I then do another set of  10 push ups, then using (2) 20 pound dumbbells, I do another 10 squats, and without putting the weights down, do 10 presses pushing both dumbbells over my head at the same time. I then go back immediately without rest and do another set of 10 push ups, and immediately back to 10 more squats and 10 more presses with both dumbbells without setting them down. The circuit training non-stop routine gives you the best of aerobic and strength training in one session. I then went from that routine to a 25-30 minute walk. During the walk, I walk as fast as I possibly can for two minutes and then walk my normal pace, or stride for two minutes. I keep alternating between the fast walking and normal stride until the 30 minutes are finished. My son put me onto the fast walk/normal walk routine  a few years ago. It is designed in layman's terms to sort of trick your body into not knowing what to expect. It results in getting more bang for your buck out of the 1/2 hour walk. I have always been fairly active. If you have not been and think of yourself as a couch potato, you will have to work into a routine more slowly. Slow is better than NOT doing it at all. I guarantee you that once you get on a program and start feeling the benefits, you will want to continue. I highly recommend that FIRST you talk to the doctor handling your type 2 diabetes and have your blood pressure checked, your A1C done and a blood lipid profile done. Keep your doctor abreast of your progress as you start incorporating weight resistance exercise into your routine.


Our own physical body possesses a wisdom which we who inhabit the body lack.  We give it orders which make no sense. 
- Henry Miller

Genesis 1:27 KJV   So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them 

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