In every issue of WebMD the Magazine, we ask our experts to answer readers' questions about a wide range of topics. In our January-February 2011 issue, we asked WebMD's Diabetes Expert, Michael Dansinger, MD, whether stevia, a new natural sweetener, is a good sugar substitute for people with diabetes.
Strength training is another type of exercise. Also known as resistance training, strength training usually involves lifting weights or using other equipment to build muscle. You can also use your own body weight, such as by doing pushups. Strength training can improve your quality of life as you age, so that you can keep doing everyday activities such as walking, lifting, and climbing stairs. Strength training is also good for your bones.
Diabetes and the Benefits of Strength Training
If you have diabetes, research has shown that strength training can:
Improve insulin sensitivity
Improve glucose tolerance
Help you lose weight
Lower your risk for heart disease
In scientific studies, strength training has been found to improve insulin sensitivity in people with diabetes to the same extent that aerobic exercise does. Extended periods of strength training improve blood sugar control as well as taking a diabetes drug. In fact, in people with diabetes, strength training in combination with aerobic exercise may be even better.
Before You Start Strength Training
Talk to your doctor before you start any exercise program. Your doctor can let you know what, if any, limitations you have.
Strength Training and Diabetes Guidelines
The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with type 2 diabetes start a strength training program to help with blood sugar control. The program can begin with a moderate schedule (one set of 10-15 repetitions with weights up to three times a week).
Once you get used to the moderate schedule, you can move on up to three sets of 10-15 repetitions with weights up to three times a week.
As with any type of exercise, always warm up before exercising, and then take time to cool down afterward.
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Your level is currently
If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.
People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.
Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.
However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.
Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.
One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
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