Friday, May 17, 2013

Article # 491. Training Program for Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes

A Comprehensive Training Program for Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes

Below is a weekly training program, with progression advice, that combines both aerobics and weight training. It does not assume much previous physical activity. A combination of aerobic exercise and strength training -- as for healthy people -- is likely to be the ideal combination of physical activity for diabetics but it should be followed under supervision for safety and best results.

Day 1. Aerobic exercise. Walk, jog, treadmill or outdoors for 30 minutes at moderate intensity. Moderate intensity means in the range 50% to 70% of maximum heart rate or at a pace at which you can still talk easily enough or recite a poem for example. Treadmill, Elliptical (EFX) and cycling are fine for aerobic conditioning, but you don’t get the advantage of bone building that you do with impact exercise. Generic, step and pump group aerobics classes are excellent.
Day 2. Weight training. Use the Basic Strength and Muscle program as a guide. You can do this at a gym or you can do most of the exercises at home with a home gym or even a set of dumbbells. The individual exercises are not that critical, but you need to work all of the major muscle groups including the upper and lower legs, arms, shoulders, back, chest, abdominals and buttocks. The reason for this is that the more muscle you exercise and build, the more depots for glucose disposal and storage you create.
Do 8 to 10 exercises including 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions in each set. Adjust the load so that you can get through a complete set and that the final repetition, say number 10, is getting a little harder to do. At the end of the third set of any exercise you should be working somewhat hard. Rest for two to five minutes before the next exercise.
When you’re starting out, it is important not to overdo things. Do fewer sets or repetitions and use less weight but do all exercises and progress to higher volumes and intensity. However, strength and muscle training needs to stress the muscles appropriately. Lifting light dumbbells for 20 repetitions, although not useless, is not what’s required here. Take it easy, but not too easy!
Day 3. Aerobic training as for day 1.
Day 4. Aerobic training as for day 1.
Day 5. Weight training as for day 2.
Day 6. Aerobic training as for day 1.
Day 7. Rest.

Exercise Progression
With increasing fitness, you can gradually increase the intensity and volume of your exercise program. This is best done under the supervision of a qualified trainer. Here are some tips on how to do that.
·    Increase the intensity of the aerobic workouts by increasing heart rate from 50% to 70% to closer to 70% or slightly above. At this intermediate pace, you should be able to talk less easily, although you should not be struggling for breath.
·    Increase the time of the workout from 30 to 45 minutes.
·    Include intervals in your walking or running by striding out at a much increased pace for a one-minute interval in every five minutes for the length of the session.
·    Gradually increase the weight load you lift in your weight-training program as you get stronger. You should struggle to do that last lift of the third set. Don’t increase the number of sets or repetitions; just increase the weight you lift as you get stronger. You can vary the exercises but remember to work all major muscle groups.
·    Add a third weight training session to your weekly program, preferably on one of the aerobics days so that you maintain at least one day of complete rest.
·    Be aware of niggling injuries of the joints, muscles and tendons and don’t train through acute pain or persistent sub-acute pain. See your doctor. When weight training, be especially aware of shoulder impingement pain or discomfort in the rotator cuff, which can be an issue in older trainers. Go easy on the shoulder exercises if this gives you warning.
·    Every month, take 3 consecutive days off to allow the body to recover and rebuild.


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