Get the Basics…
As a diabetic, controlling your blood sugar can prevent diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy. Regular exercise can lower blood glucose levels. A personal trainer can help you find the right balance between aerobic exercise and strength training workouts.
According to the Center for Disease Control, one in three American adults could have diabetes by 2050. Exercise, whether cardiovascular or strength training, is considered one of the most effective lifestyle changes someone can make to ward off diabetes.
If you’re diagnosed with diabetes, it’s important that you remain physically active. If you stay active and maintain a healthy weight, you’ll have better control over your blood sugar.
Having adequate control over your glucose levels can prevent long-term complications, such as kidney failure, diabetic neuropathy, and heart disease. People with diabetes are also more likely to develop blocked arteries, which can lead to a heart attack. Exercise keeps your heart healthy and strong. Regular exercise also helps you maintain good cholesterol.
Furthermore, there are other traditional benefits of exercise:
Lower blood pressure Better weight control Increased good cholesterol Strong bones Better sleep habits Improved mood Lower stress levels Before You Begin Exercising
Unfortunately, many people diagnosed with diabetes are overweight, so the idea of starting an exercise program can be daunting. Before starting any type of exercise program, you must have clearance from your family physician.
Your physician will examine your cardiovascular function, which is especially important if you already have high blood pressure or signs of heart disease. You also need to take into consideration any other diabetes-related complications, such as diabetic retinopathy or neuropathy.
When you begin a fitness program, your doctor can refer you to a dietician and personal trainer to help create an exercise program that is best for you. In addition to obtaining medical clearance, you also need to set realistic goals.
Benefits of a Personal Trainer
If you’re new to exercise or haven’t exercised for a long time, you need to start slowly and gradually increase the frequency and intensity. If unsure of how to proceed, meeting with a personal trainer may be beneficial.
A personal trainer can pave the way to fitness success. Choose one that has experience working with diabetic clients. You can find certified personal trainers through the American College of Sports Medicine or the American Council on Exercise.
You should think of your personal trainer as an educator and a friend. Not only will he or she walk you through different exercise sequences, but they will also show you how to lift weights safely and effectively. Depending on your fitness goals, you’ll probably meet with your trainer two to three times a week. Based on your fitness capacity, your trainer will create a workout plan that’s specifically for you.
Making the Most of Your Training Sessions
Set up a plan – Before you start, have an action plan in place in case your blood sugar drops. If you find that your blood sugar is too low when working out, let your doctor know. Be present – Give your training sessions 100 percent of your attention. Leave your phone in the locker room and focus on your workout. Be consistent – A training session here and there won’t deliver the results you want. Consistency is key. Create a training schedule that fits into your weekly routine. Be open – If something doesn’t feel right or is too difficult, tell your trainer immediately. Never push yourself to the point of exhaustion. Be aware of your physical limits – Always keep an eye on your blood sugar while working out. You may have to avoid intense workouts or even stop and eat a snack to keep your glucose levels in check. Exercising with Diabetes
Going to the gym is only part of the equation. Even under the supervision of a personal trainer, you need to make sure you are prepared in case your blood sugar drops.
It’s important to check your blood sugar before, during, and after you finish your training session. You may see a drop in your blood sugar while working out or immediately after a workout. Your glucose levels may also spike during an intense workout session.
Make a point of testing your blood sugar to learn how your body reacts to different types of exercise. Know where to draw the line. Even if you’re intent on finishing your workout, pushing yourself too hard can have serious repercussions. If your blood sugar is high before you start exercising, stop halfway through and check for ketones. If still present, it’s a good idea to stick to lower-intensity activities.
Types of Exercises
Whether you’re working out with your trainer or on your own, there are three specific types of exercises you need to do, which includes cardiovascular exercise, flexibility exercises, and strength training. Your goal should be to have an equal balance of all three.
– Aerobic Exercise
There are many different exercises you can choose from. Shoot for at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise to boost your metabolism.
Find an activity that you enjoy, such as:
Brisk walking Jogging Spinning classes Zumba Using the elliptical Swimming Biking
Don’t be discouraged if you can’t go for the entire 30 minutes at first. Your personal trainer can help you build your endurance gradually over time. And remember, exercise is cumulative, so making small changes in your daily routine will carry over even when you’re not working out. For instance, you can park your car farther away when you go to the market, or take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Make sure you enjoy the exercise you’re doing. If it’s not fun, you probably won’t stick with it.
In between sessions with your personal trainer, why not take a group class with friends? Exercising with friends is a great source of motivation!
– Strength Training
Once you’ve built up your endurance, your trainer will probably get you started with strength training. You’ll develop lean muscles and also maintain strong, healthy bones. If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, strength training is a must. Since muscles need glucose to function properly, strengthen training will give you control of your blood sugar.
Make a commitment to get in shape. Your future health depends on it, so as difficult as it may seem, motivate yourself to go to the gym. It will help you lose excess weight and help your body use its insulin and glucose more efficiently.
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A Wellness Talk With Desmond Howard
I recently had the privilege to talk with one of my childhood heroes — NFL veteran Desmond Howard — about a topic that we both are super passionate about: health and wellness. (A quick backgrounder for those who may not be familiar with Howard: He is the 1991 Heisman Trophy winner and Super Bowl XXXI MVP. After 11 years playing pro in the NFL, he joined the ESPN network as a college football analyst, and since 2005, he has appeared on the Emmy-award winning College Game Day, while also contributing to other ESPN programming.)
With the current state of our world, we have the opportunity to take back our health and fitness in a positive way. By grounding with our mindset and sticking with the actions that yield positive changes in our lives, we can begin to reclaim our well-being. This conversation — which we had during our Instagram live episode — could not have come at a better time as we talked about how to do this and more.
Howard and I were able to cover a lot of ground in this hourlong conversation, including:
- How we both personally tackle the challenges of healthy aging.
- Ways to avoid the common excuses that many people use for not getting up and moving.
- How the circumstances of the past year — including social distancing and isolation — have taken an additional physical and mental toll on many.
- The importance of mental fitness.
- Stories about our early childhood days, growing up, and now being fathers.
- How to approach each day with some fun tips that people can apply to change their outlook on life, including these:
- Kick off each day with the question: How will I be intentional with myself and those around me with my actions?
- How does my health and fitness impact my family, friends, and people I work with daily?
- Challenge yourself to be 1 percent better each day — and be sure to celebrate those wins.
We left it all out there for viewers and listeners in hopes they can apply some of the insights and learnings from our experiences in their own lives and create the positive changes necessary to become the best version of themselves. Tune in — and feel free to share your top takeaways in the comments below.
Have you tried this NEW workout plan that everyone is talking about?
Want Bigger Biceps? Straight Bar Better Than EZ Curl Bar
Many trainers prefer the EZ curl bar because it takes stress off the forearm muscles when doing curls. People who do straight bar curls often end up with lower arm strains that feel a lot like shin splints of the forearms. Truman State University researchers, led by Dr. J. Lafrenz, measured muscle activation of the biceps and brachioradialis muscles using electromyography (EMG). EMG measures the electrical activity of muscles – greater EMG activity means greater muscle activation. The biceps were activated most with the straight bar during the positive and negative phases of the lift. The brachioradialis muscle was activated equally with both bars. The results show that the straight bar activates the biceps better than the EZ curl bar. However, use the EZ curl bar if you have forearm strain.
Is it Safe to Lock Out Joints? Trainers often employ a non-locking technique to facilitate the muscle pump. This is especially common in elbow extension movements, such as training biceps and triceps. Some experts warn weight trainers not to lock out joints when doing squats, leg presses, bench presses or curls because of an increased injury risk. Dr. Lee Brown from the University of Arkansas questioned this recommendation. In the knee, for example, minimal contact occurs between the kneecap and femur (large leg bone) during full extension. Brown argues that there is little if any research to indicate that locking out the knee or elbow will cause damage to normal joints with properly performed exercises. And in the normal, uninjured knee or elbow, full extension is the strongest weight-bearing position during axial loading. And fatigue will set in more rapidly if a trainer does not lock out the knee or elbow during some exercises. You will get tired in a hurry if you do squats or military presses with your knees bent.
Brown concluded that most exercises should be performed through the individual’s available range of motion while maintaining proper mechanics. And individual differences and health status may affect the choice of ranges for some exercises. If you feel pain, stop the exercise and evaluate your exercise form and whether you are going to full extension. Weight training is very much an individual endeavor, and no one plan works for everyone. For example, some people are mechanically designed to squat, while others are not and they do the leg press instead. And while some trainers might be able to tolerate locking out during reps, others might find it too uncomfortable. Regardless of your body mechanics, there are definitely situations where going to full extension is not a good idea. Avoid landing on fully extended joints when doing plyometric exercises. Also, avoid doing full knee extensions during the early stages of recovery from anterior cruciate ligament surgery. (NSCA Conference Abstracts; Strength Cond J, published online)
The post Want Bigger Biceps? Straight Bar Better Than EZ Curl Bar appeared first on FitnessRX for Men.
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