Weight Lifting and Diabetes : Is weight training good if you have type 2 diabetes?


Exercises or weight training works good for nearly everyone and if we go as per a recent study, strength training can be extremely effective in managing and preventing type 2 diabetes.

But, this is more in general. What about people already suffering with diabetes? Is it equally helpful. Let's know more about it.

It's very common and world wide accepted that how much important exercises such as walking or jogging are for people with type 2 diabetes and how effective they can be when it comes to controlling blood sugar levels. But, perhaps there's not much said about weight training in diabetes.

So, in this article let's try to gather some information on lifting weights in diabetes and let's find out is weight training a healthy routine that you can incorporate in your lifestyle in order to control blood sugar levels.

Is lifting weights good for diabetics?

In order to get answer to this question, let's just quickly understand how exercise works for our body in general and how does it reacts on our blood sugar levels. 

Whenever our body indulges in any moderate level of exercise, our heart start to beat little faster and we start to breathe a little harder. This is because the heart start pumping more blood to your involved muscles so that they can perform any action properly.

Your muscles start using more glucose aka the sugar in your blood stream and in this way more amount of blood sugar gets consumed by your body, resulting in reduced blood sugar levels and better insulin functionality.

"Insulin is a hormone that helps your body turn blood sugar (glucose) into energy"

Lifting weights or weight training relies primarily on the body’s glucose and as we go through a strength-training workout, our body starts using stored muscle glycogen as fuel. 

Once this stored muscle glycogen runs out, our body start mobilising extra glycogen from the liver and from the blood in order to match up the exercise requirement, resulting in decreased blood glucose levels in our body.

Not just that, strength training has also been associated with working on other health complications that comes handy with diabetes, such heart health, bone density and much more.

Weight-bearing strength training, especially the one that are performed from standing positions, builds strength in the bones of the legs, spine, and hips thereby reducing the risk of bone breaks or fractures.

How much weight training exercise is good for diabetics

From the above explanation, we get a very clear sense that weight training can indeed be helpful for diabetics. But how much of it is exactly is good to follow in routine. Let's find out.

Whenever we talk about the quantity of exercise that should be followed for reducing blood sugar levels in general, it should be clearly noted that we're always suggesting moderate exercises. Excess exercise can actually do more harm to your body than doing anything good, especially if you're a diabetic. 

Extremely intense exercise can cause stress to the body and can trigger more stress hormones which can lead to an increase blood sugar levels. Hence, always exercise in moderation and after proper consulting with a qualified professional doctor.

In general, you can perhaps target 10 to 20 minutes exercise a day, if you're a beginner and then gradually work your way up to 30 minutes to 1 hour a day over the course of a couple of weeks or a month.

Cardio vs Resistance training : which works better for type 2 diabetes

It's important to note that there's no fixed rule that any specific type of exercise will work on all types of diabetics. Condition, age, other underlying diseases my differ from person to person and the best form of exercise for you can be known only after consulting with a qualified professional doctor. 

But to talk in general, Doing a combination of resistance training and cardio might work the best. But if you have to choose one among the two, then there's a higher benefit from resistance training or strength training for type 2 diabetes.

So with that information in mind, let's find answer to few more questions that are related with weight lifting in diabetes.

Can weight lifting reverse diabetes?

After going through the all information mentioned above in the article, it gets very clear that doing weight training depending upon your body compatibility can be extremely helpful in reducing blood sugar levels alongside giving other health benefits.

But, if we take up the question directly that does weight lifting cures diabetes? if that means, that will you become a non-diabetic from a diabetic if you start following weight training, then of course the answer is NO!!.

Any type of exercise can only be helpful in controlling blood sugar levels or diabetes, but they do not provide a permanent cure. Hence, if you want your blood sugar to be at good levels all time, you need to follow a good and healthy lifestyle which includes exercise, proper diet and medications prescribed by your doctor.

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