The ParticipantsThe subjects were older than 55 years and included both men and women. The participants had type 2 diabetes for an average of nine years. Each participant had a physical exam including and electrocardiogram.
Sixty volunteers participated in the study, and half of them served as controls. This means that they went about their lives as usual without any complementary interventions involving weight lifting for type 2 diabetes.
The other half of the group underwent PRT, or progressive resistance training. Activities include weightlifting, or other weight bearing exercise. Exercise sessions were conducted three times a week. After 16 weeks, the participants were re-examined by a physician.
The FindingsThe study found that after just 16 weeks of weight training, individuals who had type 2 diabetes experienced:
- Need for less diabetes medication
- Improved blood pressure
- Less abdominal fat
- Increased lean muscle mass
- Increased activity at home
Creating an Exercise PlanOther considerations are important to make when creating an exercise plan for type 2 diabetes. The first is that each person who participated in the study had a through physical examination prior to beginning, even those in the control group who made no changes. Anyone interested in adopting an exercise regimen as a complementary approach to treating type 2 diabetes should consult his or her physician.
Properly monitoring blood sugar levels is another careful consideration to make. When exercise becomes too intense, it may make considerable demands on the body. It is important to stay in the habit of monitoring your sugar levels and to watch for signs of hypoglycemia on a regular basis.
Weightlifting does not have to be intense. You may want to get a personal trainer to meet with you for the first few sessions to help you create a realistic regimen that is safe and effective, and that suits your physical capabilities. Regular exercise offers excellent opportunity for improvement.
Make sure to select an exercise routine that you can live with. If the exercises are too difficult or too uncomfortable, it is likely that you may abandon them, reverting to a sedentary lifestyle.
Follow up with regular visits to your physician to see if the weightlifting for type 2 diabetes is working for you. This can lead to significant improvement in health as well as fewer prescription medications in relatively little time.