Sometimes, living with diabetes can seem like a full-time job -- trying to keep up with everything you need to do for proper diabetes care.
"Diabetes is a very time-consuming disease to manage well," says Karmeen Kulkarni, MS, RD, CDE, and former president of health care and education for the American Diabetes Association. "The medication, the food, the physical activity -- you add life in general to that whole picture and it ends up being quite challenging."
It's never too late to start. As you age, strength training (also called resistance training), can help you keep doing everyday activities such as walking, lifting things, and climbing stairs. Plus, it's good for your bones.
For people with diabetes, strength training helps the body :
If you're not active now, check in with your doctor first. Ask if there are any moves you should avoid.
It's a good idea to work with a certified fitness instructor or trainer, so you learn the right way to do each exercise.
Your strength training program should work your whole body two to three times a week. Set up your schedule so that you work different muscle groups on different days, or do a longer workout less often.
Don't work the same muscle groups 2 days in a row. Give your muscles a chance to recover and get stronger!
When you get started, set yourself up for success with a moderate schedule. Do each move 10-15 times (one set) up to three times a week.
Once you get used to that, you can gradually do more, until you're doing three sets of 10-15 repetitions up to three times a week.
Always warm up before you exercise. Brisk walking is a good way to do that. When you're done strength training, do a series of stretches, holding each stretch for 30 to 60 seconds, to end your workout.