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Is strength training beneficial to diabetics?

Is strength training beneficial to diabetics?
Is strength training beneficial to diabetics?

It is possible to manage diabetes using a variety of tools. Physical activity is important because carrying more weight can cause more insulin to be needed. People with type 1 diabetes can benefit from strength training by building muscle and reducing the risk of low blood sugar during an exercise session.

Some of the benefits of strength training are:

Benefits of strength training for diabetes 

People with diabetes can benefit from strength training :

  • Lose weight
  • Enhance the system’s use of blood sugar
  • Reduce your risk of heart disease 
  • Reduces cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Improved insulin response

A study indicates that strength training can boost your body’s ability to use insulin. Researchers recommend that people with type 2 diabetes engage in aerobic and resistance training for better health outcomes and glycemic control. They also recommend strength training. Moreover, a diabetes patient exercising 150 minutes a week has better glycemic control.

Where to Begin Strength Training

Before you begin strength training, ensure it’s the right thing for you. If your doctor approves, you can do these exercises with your body weight or small dumbbells at home. Starting with light weights after you build your strength and increasing it as you become more powerful is an effective way to build strength.

Perform 2 sets of 8-12 repetitions of these basic strength training exercises:

Wall Push-Ups

Wall Push-Ups strength training
  • Stand facing a wall. Increase or decrease the distance until you reach the level of difficulty you desire. The closer you are, the less intense it is.
  • Your palms should be flat and face the wall. As you bend your elbows, lower your chest toward the wall to maintain a strong plank position.
  • Slowly straighten your arms to return them to their starting position.

Side Raises

Side Raises strength training
  • You can stand or sit with your arms at your sides and a weight in each hand.
  • Hold your elbows slightly bent sideways and reach shoulder height with your arms in a T shape.
  • Bring your arms back to their original positions.

Bicep Curls

Bicep Curls strength training
  • Hold a weight at your sides with your palms facing you in each hand.
  • Hold the weight with your palm facing you while bending one arm.
  • Once you have completed one arm, repeat with the other.

Triceps Extensions

Triceps Extensions strength training
  • Holding a weight in one hand, raise your arm above your head until your elbow points to the ceiling and point your weight backward toward the ground.
  • Protect your elbow by holding your arm by the other hand as you move your arm.
  • Lift the weight above your head while straightening your arm. Then lower it again.
  • Similarly, do the same for the other arm.

Chair Raises

  • Place yourself at the front of a safe chair. If your furniture is on casters, make sure they are locked.
  • Cross your arms over your chest while bending your back.
  • Sit up straight, hold your arms straight, and stand up straight with your upper body facing forward.
  • Sit down again.


If you have diabetes type 1, you should periodically check your blood sugar levels. You may need to modify your carbohydrate and insulin intake during and after a workout.

Final words

These simple strength training exercises can control your diabetes and increase your overall strength. Exercise increases bone strength, helps you lose weight, and reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.

If you have diabetes, consult your doctor before starting exercise training. Ask about any restrictions or special instructions. Consult your doctor about the best exercises to lift weights.

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