Strength training can be used in the treatment and prevention of diabetes
280 Australians develop diabetes every day and it is anticipated that 3.3 million Australians will have diabetes by 2031 (Vos et al 2004)
Diabetes is a disease of no insulin production (Type 1) or resistance to insulin (Type 2). This means that when sugar enters the blood stream, there is no insulin response, which would normally act to reduce the blood sugar levels. Strength training can benefit by enhancing insulin sensitivity and increasing lean muscle mass to help control blood sugar levels.
As diabetes is a condition that will likely remain with you for your lifetime, we recommend that strength training forms a part of the ongoing management of your condition.
The important aspects of your training program for a diagnosis of diabetes are as follows:
- Consistent training over long term – therefore program must be brief and simple
- Focused on large muscle groups – to enhance hormonal response to build lean body mass and increase metabolism
- Address any secondary conditions / injuries that may inhibit training
- Higher frequency of training – aim for 3 times per week initially then 2 times per week once maintaining