Why People Living With Diabetes Need Strength Training

Why People Living With Diabetes Need Strength Training
Why People Living With Diabetes Need Strength Training

Diabetes is one of the most widespread diseases in the world, with an estimated 415 million people suffering from one type of this condition. It is a condition on the rise, with more and more people dying from it (or complications caused by it) each year and with a global economic cost that is rising well above half a trillion dollars every year.

Before we cover why strength training can be a great ally in the battle against diabetes, we should probably say a thing or two about the disease itself as it will help explain why strength training is so beneficial.

Diabetes 101

There are three main types of diabetes mellitus that people suffer from.

Type 1 DM, often called juvenile diabetes; type 2 DM, the most common type; and gestational diabetes is the third major type, and it develops in pregnant women who previously never had problems with blood sugar levels.

No matter what type of diabetes is in question, the patient has high blood sugar levels over a long period of time, leading to increased thirst and hunger, as well as more frequent urination. Over time, diabetes can cause vision impairment and skin rashes. More serious complications can include heart disease, chronic kidney failure, stroke, and foot ulcers.

Prevention and Management

While there is no known prevention for type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes can be effectively prevented or at least delayed by making smart lifestyle choices. This includes regular exercise, a healthy diet and maintaining a normal weight. If you are a smoker, giving up on the habit will also reduce your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

When it comes to managing diabetes, it all comes down to keeping blood sugar levels as close to the normal levels as possible. Of course, it is also important to avoid low blood sugar levels. Besides regularly taking medications and/or insulin, management will also involve lifestyle habits. One of the most important of these habits is regular exercise.

The Importance of Exercise

For the most part, people who suffer from diabetes are recommended to engage in regular aerobic (cardio) training, i.e. training which involves running, cycling, swimming and walking and various iterations of this kind of training. Among other things, aerobic training helps the body burn excess glucose found in the body, as well as decrease its innate resistance to insulin. Its additional benefits also help diabetes patients manage their condition more effectively.

Underrated Strength Training

And while aerobic training is commonly recommended to diabetes patients, many of them are not familiar with all the great stuff strength training can do for them. Strength training involves mostly gym-specific workouts that involve weights and specialized gym equipment (including comfortable gym wear).

The most important thing strength training does is improve your muscle tone and build new muscle mass. Muscle is known to burn more calories than other types of tissue, meaning that you will reap the benefits of your strength training 24/7. In addition to this, building muscle mass will also help lower your insulin needs due to improving insulin sensitivity. Furthermore, during the actual strength training, your body will use glucose from your blood to power your muscles. Finally, this ability of toned muscles to store glucose more effectively than other tissues will help regulate blood sugar even when you are not working out.

A Word of Warning

It should be pointed out that you should never engage in any strength training before you consult your doctor. This is especially important for people suffering from type 1 diabetes, although people with type 2 should also always consult their doctor.

Closing Word

Most doctors and experts agree that combining the two types of exercise – aerobic and strength, will have the most positive effects on your blood sugar levels and diabetes in general.

The important thing is that you do not neglect strength training.

Diabetes Week 2016 – Setting the record straight.

This year Diabetes Week runs between Sunday 12 June to Saturday 18 June 2016. This years theme is “Setting the record straight” Yesterday we share a fascinating infographic which looked at the effects of diabetes.

Today we would like to share the excellent series of posters prepared by Diabetes UK to mark the week.

Please do feel free to share on social media with your family and friends.

Diabetes Week - There are different types of diabetes-page-003

Diabetes Week
Diabetes Week

Diabetes Week
Diabetes Week
Diabetes Week
Diabetes Week

Defeating the Effects of Diabetes

Did you know that one out of every 20 people in the world has diabetes? That equates to 347 million people on this planet who live with this horrendous condition, and it is projected that the total number of deaths caused by diabetes will more than double within the next 10 years. Indeed, a new case of diabetes is diagnosed every three minutes, meaning that 32,000 people a week are diagnosed with diabetes.

A minority of those with the condition have Type 1 diabetes, which is usually discovered in a person’s childhood and for which there is no known cure. Type 2, which affects 90-95% of people with diabetes, can be delayed or prevented with lifestyle changes such as a healthier diet and increased exercise. It is usually discovered in a person’s adult years, although childhood diagnoses are becoming more common.

This infographic, which was created by Union Quay Medical Centre (http://www.unionquaymedicalcentre.ie/general-practice.html) in Ireland, gives an informed overview of diabetes and tackles a few frequently cited misconceptions about the condition. It also suggests ways in which Type 2 sufferers can reduce the harmful effects of diabetes, which in extreme cases include heart disease, blindness and kidney failure.

There is no escaping the fact that diabetes has become a widespread epidemic and, as mentioned previously, it is expected to get a lot worse before it gets better. If you are unfortunate enough to have the condition, or if you know someone who has, we strongly urge you to read the infographic below and see if there are lifestyle changes that can be made.

Defeating the Effects of Diabetes - Infographic
Defeating the Effects of Diabetes – Infographic

Ramadan Mubarak to all those preparing to fast and some info for diabetics

Ramadan Mubarak to all those preparing to fast.

Diabetes UK Has produced this brilliant fact sheet on diabetes and the Ramadan fast so please do check it out here.

Ramadan and Diabetes
Ramadan and Diabetes

Weight loss – dieting for a year show weight loss can be maintained!

CWP 2016 choc shake and sachet port RGBExperts have welcomed newly published research that shows how weight loss can be maintained, without dieters inevitably regaining their original weight, by dieting for a year.

They say the breakthrough study by the University of Copenhagen into hormonal adaptions to weight loss sheds light on how weight loss with formula diets may help address the UK’s escalating diabetes and obesity problem, by showing it takes 12 months of dieting before the body’s chemicals change and a new weight can be permanently maintained.

The study showed that healthy, but obese, people put on a Cambridge Weight Plan 810 calorie formula diet for eight weeks lost 13 percent of their weight and kept the weight off after a 52 week maintenance formula diet.

The study looked at hormonal changes associated with effective long-term weight loss and feelings of fullness and allowed researchers new insights into the complex processes involved in obesity and especially weight loss in obesity.

Researchers in Denmark have found that obese people who had shed an eighth of their weight on an intensive diet and then kept it off for a year saw dramatic changes in the chemicals governing their appetites.

Professor Leeds, medical director of Cambridge Weight Plan said: “This shows for the first time that if enough weight is lost and kept off for long enough then the body seems to adjust to the lower weight and does not fight to try to regain it.

“This has very important implications for considering the use of formula diet programmes in community settings and GP practices as a way to combat obesity.”

“Since we now have good evidence that people can lose about ten percent of their body weight, usually about one and a half stone, and maintain that, it helps to have evidence that explains how weight loss is maintained.”

“Weight maintenance can be achieved by a permanent change in diet and eating behaviour and by physical activity, but not everyone can do this using conventional diet and keep the weight off, so this study reinforces the value of formula diets.”

Shake-Chocolate Mint-NEWAssociate Professor Signe Sørensen Torekov from the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, said: “The interesting and uplifting news in this study is that if you are able to maintain your weight loss for a longer period of time, it seems as if you have ‘passed the critical point’, and after this point, it will actually become easier for you to maintain your weight loss than it was immediately after the initial weight loss.

“Thus, the body is no longer fighting against you, but actually with you, which is good news for anyone trying to lose weight.

“We were able to show that you shouldn’t give up. If you’re able to keep your weight down for a year, then it shifts and becomes easier.”

“Other clinical trials are addressing the question of whether a ten percent weight loss with a total diet replacement of formula foods for eight weeks can prevent diabetes if followed by an effective weight loss strategy,” continued Professor Leeds.

“This new paper from Copenhagen encourages us to believe that we’re on the right path, when Britain is facing the risk of another million people with diabetes in 20 years’ time. Losing enough weight is known to be the key component of diabetes prevention programmes, an essential requirement for early diabetes reversal and for improving more advanced diabetes.”

Professor Gary Frost, who studies how people with diabetes can successfully lose weight at Imperial College London also welcomed the study: “Getting the right amount of weight loss to reverse early diabetes or improve more advanced diabetes is important. Just a few pounds won’t do. The right amount of change can be delivered initially with formula diet, followed by carefully managed re-introduction of conventional foods.

“I am convinced that when doctors and dietitians become familiar with how to help people through these impressive weight losses this will become a standard option within health care services on a global scale.”


The study findings were recently published in the European Journal of Endocrinology.

The main finding in the study revealed that after one year of successful weight loss maintenance, the researchers were able to demonstrate that postprandial levels of two appetite inhibiting hormones (GLP-1 and PYY) increased (=appetite inhibition) from before-weight loss level – in contrast to the hunger hormone ghrelin, which increased immediately after weight loss but returned to normal levels (= low hunger) after one year. This demonstrates that the hormones GLP-1 and PYY are able to adjust to a new ‘set point’ and thus may facilitate the continuation of a new and lower body weight.

“We know that obese people have low levels of the appetite inhibiting hormone GLP-1. The good thing is that now we are able to show that you can actually increase the levels of this hormone as well as the appetite inhibiting hormone PYY by weight loss and that the levels are kept high (=increased appetite inhibition) when you maintain your weight loss for a year,” adds first author of the study MD and PhD student Eva Winning Iepsen

Cambridge Weight Plan is an evidence-based formula diet programme that delivers safe weight loss and maintenance at greater rates than occurs after conventional diet. Gold-standard clinical trials have shown weight loss and maintenance of about 10kg (10 per cent) of body weight for four years in elderly obese people with knee osteoarthritis with reduced pain and improved cardiovascular profiles maintained for at least one year. Similar findings have been shown in men with moderate and severe obstructive sleep apnoea, in women following heart attack and in people with psoriasis. Studies to demonstrate prevention of diabetes and reversal of early diabetes are underway. A recent presentation in Britain showed that a weight loss of 10kg in those with obesity and insulin treated type 2 diabetes can improve blood glucose control and reduce insulin dose. Four out of 10 participants were able to stop taking insulin.