Men, Weight Training, and Prediabetes

Hearing you have prediabetes – when your blood glucose is higher than normal but not high enough to be diabetes – is not a good thing. It’s a wake up call that’s more than enough to scare us into action – or complete inactivity. (You know who you are!)

The Spring 2013 issue of Diabetic Living magazine has a piece on prediabetes and exercise in men. According to this piece, weight training might be the thing to stave off a diagnosis of diabetes. This makes sense because according to this article, “lifting weights increases muscle mass and improves insulin sensitivity.”

The study cited found that exercising with weights five times a week – 30 minutes each time – decreased the risk of Type 2 by 34%. Add aerobics to that and the risk decreases by up to 59%. And no. You don’t now need to exercise every day for hours to make a difference. In fact, the article advises you to switch off weight training and aerobics. It also advisees to start with light weights in the one to five pound range.

The article is giving you the optimal advice. But what if you can’t add thirty minutes of weights? Add five. Don’t have weights? Lift soup cans. Just get moving! In fact, this piece on DiabeticLivingOnline suggests that housework or mowing the lawn can be good forms of exercise, too.

And if you’re not a man? Women have muscles, too. While you’re waiting for them to do a study with 32,000 women, why not do some light weights yourself and see if you get good results?

Why does this make sense at all? Because “skeletal muscles can take up glucose from the blood in response to exercise, resulting in lower blood glucose levels,” according to this research by the American Diabetes Association.

Look at it this way. There are enough studies out there now to indicate that no amount of activity is wasted. You build muscle. As you go about your day, your muscle requires glucose. The glucose it requires is taken from the excess glucose in your blood. The benefit kicks in whenever you walk, pick things up, or climb the stairs in preparation for the Inaugural Type2 Beat Skyscraper Run!

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