Resistance Isn’t Always Futile: Strength Training in Diabetes
Ryan Bradley, ND
So we’ve heard or delivered the advice to exercise more. The thought of pounding the pavement or the treadmill for step after monotonous step remains to be appealing. Yet there are substantial benefits to exercising - and exercising regularly - to help maintain good blood sugar levels without needed additional medications (because the truth is all medications stop working, so unless exercise increases or diet changes, everyone with diabetes will require more and more medications).
So are there other types of exercise that are beneficial in diabetes? Exercise that is more interesting to participate in or exercise that will help me beyond just making my blood sugar better? In this article I will discuss the health benefits of strength training, or resistance training, in diabetes. I hope I can convince you that it is worth trying!
Spinach Artichoke Dip
5 ounces fresh spinach, rinsed and stemmed
Steam the spinach until just wilted (2-3 minutes). Drain.
In a food processor or blender, puree the spinach, garlic, beans, scallions, basil and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice until very smooth. Fold in the minced artichoke hearts and add more lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Makes 3 cups
Find an Answer
Three of the most recent questions and answers from the Ask Your Questions pages
Q: I was recenty diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and manage with diet and medication. My primary care doctor told me when my blood sugar gets low and I get shaky I should take a pinch of table sugar. My question is, should I eat something like an orange or something other than table sugar to raise my blood sugar? It just seems counterproductive to watch what I eat all day, every day, then take some sugar to even out my blood.
A: Low blood sugars are better treated by drinking 4-6 ounces of milk if you are a dairy consumer, 4 ounces of juice, or some sugar eqivalent to equal 15 grams. 3-5 Lifesaver candies often does the job. However, the goal is not to have to eat more, but to lower your medication requirements. As you continue to take charge of your lifestyle and how different foods affect your levels, episodes will be less frequent. When you are just beginning to show the signs of low blood sugar, milk is a good choice (this includes soy milk) because it has the right carbs to get into your bloodstream quickly, but also has some protein to digest at a slower rate. I suggest you try to find some diabetes classes in your area to learn all you can on how to manage, especially eating.
Q: I have been diabetic for 43 years and on the pump for 17 years. I am a bicyclist and train hard for races. I ride five days a week. I do not suspend or lower my basal during training. This year I have scaled back slightly and do two recovery rides a week. I have found that the recovery rides make my blood sugar skyrocket to as high as 411. I have tried eating different things prior to training but nothing makes a difference. What suggestions do you have to keep my BG from raising so quickly and so high?
Q: Can a diabetic use a hot tub?
Information on the "Ask Your Questions" pages should not be relied on for medical or technical advice. Always consult your healthcare team. Diabetes Action and Jane DeVane cannot be responsible for errors or wrongful use of the information available on this website. The information provided on this site is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician/medical team.
Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation