How Exercise Can Help with Diabetes Management, Prevention

In our continued focus on American Diabetes Month and the “types of physical activity are most important for managing diabetes,” according to the American Diabetes Association.

We previously reported on the ADA’s emphasis on aerobic exercise.

The ADA recommends “aiming for 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity aerobic exercise at least 5 days a week or a total of 150 minutes per week. Spread your activity out over at least 3 days during the week and try not to go more than 2 days in a row without exercising.”

Another area of their focus is strength training:

“Strength training (also called resistance training) makes your body more sensitive to insulin and can lower blood glucose. It helps to maintain and build strong muscles and bones, reducing your risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn – even when your body is at rest. Preventing muscle loss by strength training is also the key to maintaining an independent lifestyle as you age.”

The ADA recommends “doing some type of strength training at least 2 times per week in addition to aerobic activity.”

  • Weight machines or free weights at the gym
  • Using resistance bands
  • Lifting light weights or objects like canned goods or water bottles at home
  • Calisthenics or exercises that use your own body weight to work your muscles (examples are pushups, sit ups, squats, lunges, wall-sits and planks)
  • Classes that involve strength training
  • Other activities that build and keep muscle like heavy gardening