Ease Disease With Weight Training
Daniel CurtisBodybuilding helps fight chronic illnesses, including MS and diabetes
You’ve read in these pages how lifting weights can help those who have moderate kidney disease and moderate multiple sclerosis. Next is diabetes.
According to the March ’03 Prevention, “In a six-month study of 36 people, ages 60 to 80, with diabetes, Australian researchers found that those who ate a healthful diet and followed a weightlifting program had a three times greater decrease in average blood sugar levels than those who simply dieted. Such benefits were similar to those found with diabetic drugs. Plus, they lost moderate amounts of bodyfat.
“Muscles are major clearing sites for circulating blood sugar,” and since we lose muscle as we age, rebuilding muscle tissue with weight training is very important for older adults with diabetes. The subjects in the study performed nine exercises that covered all the major muscles in the upper and lower body. They did three sets of eight to 10 reps three days a week.
Strength training also promotes heart health, which is especially important for those with diabetes, as their risk of heart disease is double or quadruple that of nondiabetics.