Although aerobic exercise is well-touted for helping manage diabetes, strength training has a host of benefits as well. Find out how to get started.
When it comes to type 2 diabetes management, strength training doesn’t always get the attention that aerobic exercises like running, walking, and bicycling do. But the truth is that a well-rounded fitness regimen should include both — and strength training has some unique benefits.
While “strength training” may conjure images of bodybuilders lifting heavy weights, it doesn’t have to be that extreme. Strength training is defined simply as exercise you perform by moving part of your body against resistance. “That’s why it’s sometimes called resistance training, Good examples are exercises that use stretchy elastic bands, or free weights like dumbbells and barbells. Calisthenics — exercises that use your own body weight — such as push-ups and sit-ups qualify as strength training exercise, too.
Its recommended you do at least two sessions of strength training a week, in addition to a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity. “Strength training twice a week is good; three times a week is preferable. You should have at least one day of rest between sessions, A strength-training session should include a minimum of five exercises that work major muscle groups in the arms, legs, and trunk.
5 Benefits of Strength Training
For people with diabetes, regular strength training can:
1. Help you use insulin more effectively.Insulin is a hormone that allows blood sugar (glucose) to enter your cells, where it’s used for energy (or stored for later). Pumping your muscles helps push glucose into them; regular strength training helps your body become more efficient at transporting glucose from your bloodstream to your muscles.
The more efficient your muscles are at using glucose, the less insulin you need. Because strength training sensitizes muscles to insulin, they require less insulin to bring your blood sugar down.
2. Lower your blood sugar.
In addition to helping your body be more efficient at transporting insulin to your muscles, strength training also allows your muscles to absorb more glucose. That means there’s less glucose circulating in your bloodstream while you're exercising and for a while after.
3. Build muscle that can lead to weight loss.
The more you keep your muscles exercising, the more calories you will burn. The more calories you burn, the more weight you can lose.
Strength training can also increase the rate at which you burn calories even when you’re not exercising. That’s because strength training builds muscle, and muscle requires more calories than fat just to maintain itself.
4. Lower the risk for heart disease.
As you may know, heart disease is a common complication of type 2 diabetes. But a regular exercise routine that includes strength training can help lower a number of risk factors related to heart disease, including obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. A sedentary lifestyle only increases the risk of these conditions, making exercise an efficient way to lower your risk of multiple health problems.
5. Help strengthen your bones.High blood sugar can mean more glucose attaches to the protein in bones (collagen) and thus weakens their structure, according to the ADA. “People with diabetes are at increased risk for fractures. “They may also have other complications, such as neuropathy (numbness) in the legs and feet, meaning they are more prone to falls.” Strength-training exercises can help improve your bone strength as well as your balance and mobility, all of which lessens the chance that you'll fall.
How to Start Strength Training
If you haven't been active or if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, or other complications of diabetes, talk with your doctor before starting an exercise program.
Then, consider working with a healthcare practitioner or certified fitness instructor who can help you design a strengthening workout that would be best for you, Kemmis says. You might also look for classes that combine resistance and aerobic exercise. Some household activities such as heavy gardening also can help build muscle, the ADA notes.
When you're ready to get started, you may want to begin your strength-training routine by lifting small weights and doing exercises like squats, biceps curls, and crunches.
Start slow to avoid injury and build up gradually from there Kemmis says. As you build strength, you can increase:
Start the progression by increasing the weight or resistance and then increasing the number of repetitions and finally increasing the days per week. Unless your doctor instructs you otherwise, your ultimate goal should be to train three times a week and complete three sets of eight to 10 repetitions of each exercise to the point of muscle fatigue.
A safety tip: If you’re unable to breathe evenly, back off on the intensity of your resistance training
Remember, a well-rounded exercise program should include strength training and aerobic exercise. This will likely provide better benefits to blood glucose control than either exercise alone.
The vital step you’re missing out when you brush your teeth
Brushing your teeth twice a day is important for good oral hygiene, but it turns out many of us miss out one important step: cleaning our tongues. Here is what happens to our mouths by skipping this step and what’s the most effective technique for tongue cleaning…
However, if you find that this is not very effective, or you want a deeper clean, you should use a tongue scraper. Tongue scrapers are usually made of soft, flexible plastic that allows for the thin layer of bacteria to be scraped and removed from the surface of the tongue.
A tongue scraper may also prevent activating the gagging reflex, as a regular toothbrush can be too large and this can prevent getting towards the back of the mouth.
What is the best way to clean your tongue?
When using a tongue scraper, here is how to best way to get a thorough clean: Try to clean the whole surface of the tongue to remove as much bacteria as possible,. Start at the back and work towards the front. Do not brush too hard or you can cause irritation to the tongue.
When and how often should you clean your tongue?
Clean your tongue as often as you brush your teeth: last thing at night and at least one other time during the day, with a fluoride toothpaste.
Make sure you use mouthwash at a different time of day from your brushing, however, so you do not wash away the effects of your fluoride toothpaste.
Your toothbrush could be way dirtier than you think...
We all know oral hygiene is very important – but do you ever stop to think about how clean your toothbrush is?
Possibly not, as the British Dental Foundation has revealed the six most unhygienic mistakes that many people make when it comes to their toothbrushes. Here they are, along with our advice on how to keep your toothbrush squeaky clean!
RELATED: THIS COMMON TOILET HABIT CAN CAUSE YOU SERIOUS HARM
3. Using a toothbrush cover
‘Using a toothbrush cover may seem like a good idea but it’s actually a big mistake. The cover does not allow for the bristles to dry, creating a moist environment where bacteria can thrive.’
What to do instead: Toothbrushes should be rinsed to remove any toothpaste from the brush, and then stored in an upright position so that water can drain away from the head of the brush.
6. Not changing toothbrushes regularly enough
‘Worn-out toothbrushes cannot clean teeth properly and may damage gums. It’s important to change your toothbrush regularly – when bristles become splayed, you won’t get an adequate clean.’
What to do instead: Change your toothbrush every two to three months, or sooner if filaments become worn. It’s also a good idea to change them after an illness, such as a cold, to reduce re-infection.
4 easy ways to maintain fresh breath
There’s nothing worse than feeling concerned you’ve got bad breath, especially when there isn’t a mint to hand! But follow these four simple tricks and you won’t be worrying again.
Is chewing gum almost as effective as flossing?
The bacteria that grows in our mouths can cause oral diseases without following proper hygiene. Scientists say that chewing gum picks up bacteria from different spots and helps remove it from the mouth, cutting chances of contracting those illnesses.
Now, the study doesn't specify whether you should actually stop flossing completely, so before you order gum by the truckload, maybe wait for a little bit more research. But for all of you gum-lovers out there, keep on chewin'.
"Chewers, keep on chewing"
Top tips for healthy gums
Flossing is so important for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Effective flossing will remove small pieces of food that get trapped in between your teeth. If this is left, it will turn into plaque which in turn, will act as a place that bacteria can breed, causing erosion of the tooth enamel. Try to floss a couple of times a week and you will really notice a difference in the health of your teeth and gums!
2. Brush your teeth
It may be obvious but you may be surprised by how many people don't brush their teeth at least twice a day. Brushing your teeth removes stains, plaque and bacteria on the teeth and gums.
3. 'H' for Hygiene
Regular hygienist appointments at least twice a year will help to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
4. Regular check-ups
Regular visits to the dentist should be a priority when looking after your teeth. The dentist will be able to examine your mouth thoroughly and will be able to pick up on any small problems that if left untreated, could turn into more significant issues.
5. Straighten up your smile
Did you know that straighter teeth are easier to keep clean, reducing the risk of long term gum disease and dental decay? With the latest technology you can now have a brace that is discreet and virtually invisible.
3-Legged Knee Twist
Step 1: Get into your downward dog by first coming into your high plank. Push the hips back, pressing into your heels until you reach your downward dog. Lift one leg high. Look to your belly button.
Step 2: Pull the leg into the body by bending the knee and bracing the core. Do not let the leg touch the floor on the way to the outside elbow. You’ll have the same-side elbow and knee meet first. Keep your hips down and your shoulder blades nicely rounded for stabilization.
Step 3: Slightly rotate the hips as the knee crosses underneath the body and taps the other elbow. Really squeeze the obliques and find balance in the arms through the triceps. Extend the leg out and return it to the 3-legged downward dog position to begin a second rep.
10 Stretches To Do After Orangetheory
If you’re still not clear why you should take time out of your day to stretch (I’m talking to you, people who always skip the stretching portion of group fitness classes), here’s a couple reasons why stretching is beneficial: stretching reduces muscle tension, improves range of movement within the joints and increases circulation of blood. Stretching not only helps your muscles recover faster (so you’ll feel less sore), but it helps to keep you injury-free as well!
11 Benefits of Lemon Water
Let me introduce to the benefits of drinking lemon water every day. An avid drinker (of water!), it was refreshing to learn a new spin on an old favorite. When I started having a glass of lemon water every morning, it was after learning only two of the benefits of lemon water. Little did I know just how many there are!
Why lemons?Lemons are packed like a clown car with nutrients, including vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and fiber. (Fun fact: they contain more potassium than apples or grapes!)
Because of how hard lemon juice can be on the enamel of your teeth, it’s important to dilute it with water of any temperature (though lukewarm is recommended). Drink it first thing in the morning, and wait 15 to 30 minutes to have breakfast. This will help you fully receive the benefits of lemon water, which are listed below.
1. Gives your immune system a boost.
1. Gives your immune system a boost.Vitamin C is like our immune system’s jumper cables, and lemon juice is full of it. The level of vitamin C in your system is one of the first things to plummet when you’re stressed, which is why experts recommended popping extra vitamin C during especially stressful days.
2. Excellent source of potassium
2. Excellent source of potassium.As already mentioned, lemons are high in potassium, which is good for heart health, as well as brain and nerve function.
3. Aids digestion.
Lemon juice not only encourages healthy digestion by loosening toxins in your digestive tract, it helps to relieve symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn, burping, and bloating.
4. Cleanses your system.
It helps flush out the toxins in your body by enhancing enzyme function, stimulating your liver.
5. Freshens your breath
It also helps relieve toothaches and gingivitis (say wha?). Because the citric acid can erode tooth enamel, either hold off on brushing your teeth after drinking lemon water or brush your teeth before drinking it.
6. Keeps your skin blemish-free
The antioxidants in lemon juice help to not only decrease blemishes, but wrinkles too! It can also be applied to scars and age spots to reduce their appearance, and because it’s detoxifying your blood, it will maintain your skin’s radiance.
7. Helps you lose weight
Lemons contain pectin fiber, which assists in fighting hunger cravings.
8. Reduces inflammation
If you drink lemon water on a regular basis, it will decrease the acidity in your body, which is where disease states occur. It removes uric acid in your joints, which is one of the main causes of inflammation.
9. Gives you an energy boost
Lemon juice provides your body with energy when it enters your digestive tract, and it also helps reduce anxiety and depression. (Even the scent of lemons has a calming effect on your nervous system!)
10. Helps to cut out caffeine
I didn’t believe this until I tried it, but replacing my morning coffee with a cup of hot lemon water has really done wonders! I feel refreshed, and no longer have to deal with that pesky afternoon crash. Plus, my nerves are thankful.
11. Helps fight viral infections
Warm lemon water is the most effective way to diminish viral infections and their subsequent sore throats. Plus, with the lemon juice also boosting your immune system, you’ll simultaneously fight off the infection completely.
For those who weigh less than 150 pounds, squeeze half a lemon’s worth of juice into a glass of water. If over 150 pounds, use an entire lemon’s juice. You can of course dilute the lemon juice more, depending on your personal taste.
Not only are the benefits of lemon water endless, it’s one of the most substantial yet simple changes you can make for your health