by Dr. Karl Nadolsky
As you may or may not know, my brother and I might be the biggest meat head doctors in the world. Weight lifting makes up a large percentage of our foundation of living (right up there with protein!) and we are always trying to promote it to our patients for reasons other than increasing their lat span. Weight lifting, once thought to be reserved only for muscle men, can actually do more than pump up your chest and biceps (although I’ll admit this is what I started doing it for). As I will show here, it can actually both cure AND prevent diabetes, which is EXTREMELY relevant to our patient population.
How to exercise to prevent diabetes
In a recently published prospective study, thirty two thousand people were followed for 18 years (1990-2008). What they found was that those who spent at least 150 minutes a week pumping iron lowered their risk of diabetes by 34% independent of diet! The risk reduction was dose dependent, meaning that the more often the person weight lifted, the less risk there was for getting diabetes. What was also no surprise was that including aerobic exercise lowered the risk further.
How to rid your diabetes with exercise
There have been a few randomized control trials that show how exercise can produce significant reductions in average blood sugar. One study showed that either resistance training, aerobic training, or both reduced average blood sugar (those who did both lowered it the most). One study showed that you need a combination of resistance training and aerobic training to significantly reduce average blood sugar and that you can’t just use one or the other. Then this large meta analysis (a study where they group together a bunch of studies together) showed that the best way to lower average blood sugar was to have a combination of resistance AND aerobic training along with some sound dietary advice. Did we need these expensive trials and studies to figure this out? Maybe just to prove what we already knew and to continue promoting a good combo of exercise along with good nutrition.
So if you’re wondering what the final bottom line is to cut your chances of diabetes or even cure it, it is:
1. Lift weights and combine it with some aerobic training (biking, brisk walking, swimming, running, rowing, etc) – Check out our Exercise Prescription Guide for an easy template.
2. Do it for at least 150 minutes a week (about 20 minutes a day)
3. Combine it with some good dietary habits
If you need help, stop by our members only forum and ask us any question you might have. If you need more personalization, get a FREE Lean Doc Consult. You can always boost insulin sensitivity with berberine as well.