Weight training does more than make you look good from the outside in, it also helps you look and feel good from the inside out. Resistance-training improves the way your body uses blood sugar which helps reduce hypoglycemia.
Weight Training and Hypoglycemia
Hypoglycemia is a condition in which you have too little glucose in your blood. When you eat, your body releases sugar into the blood stream. In response, your pancreas sends out insulin to bind with the glucose and carry it into the cells to be used as energy. Sometimes, the body releases too much insulin or not enough, which is often the case for people who have diabetes. If you have experienced hypoglycemia you may have felt:
- racing heart
- blurred vision
- irritability or anxiousness
- extreme huger
- at the very worst, unconsciousness
Hypoglycemia can come on fast or gradually depending on your health and whether you have diabetes. Most often, a healthy eating plan combined with a consistent workout routine, keeps blood sugar levels within normal ranges.
Weight training also helps to equalize blood sugar levels. When you perform resistance-training, your muscles prefer to use glucose for fuel. As you train, the muscle cells become more responsive to glucose and quickly absorb the blood sugar. Plus, weight training increases your metabolism which helps you lose weight and reduce your body fat content. This, combined with an increase in lean muscle mass, which helps your body absorb the proper amount of glucose and improves your blood sugar regulation.
As your body becomes more insulin sensitive and responds faster to blood glucose levels, it also becomes more efficient in sending out the correct amount of insulin. As a result, your chances of slipping into hypoglycemia are reduced.
If blood sugar lows are a concern, speak with your physician regarding the proper timing of eating before exercise. As long as you stay consistent with your timing of meals and workouts, your blood sugar should support your new workout routine. Add 20 to 30 minutes of strength-training on two or three days a week to see and feel the improvements. Perform a total-body workout and select eight to 10 exercises that strengthen your shoulders, chest, back, core, arms and legs. Complete one to three sets of eight to 10 repetitions using a weight amount that causes fatigue during the final two repetitions of each set. Allow one to two days of rest in between workouts for sugar levels to return to normal states.
When performing both strength-training workouts and cardiovascular, or aerobic, exercises, the order of your routine also has an affect on your sugar levels.The American Diabetes Association presented the findings on a study that compared whether performing resistance-training before aerobic exercise was more beneficial to blood sugar levels than performing aerobic exercise before resistance-training. Researchers found that when subjects who have Type I diabetes performed resistance exercise prior to their aerobic workouts, blood sugar levels maintained greater stability and reduced the hypoglycemic post-exercise concerns.
This is an important discovery to help you with the order of your workout routine. To avoid a dramatic drop in blood sugar, perform strength-training exercises first and then complete your aerobic workout, such as walking, running, cycling or swimming.