Resistance Training and Diabetes: How Much, How Often

By American Diabetes Association, Sheri R. Colberg

Part of Diabetes & Keeping Fit For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Doing resistance training of any type is critical if you have diabetes (or even if you don’t have it and want to age well). It allows you to stay strong and independent, along with giving you a place to store the carbohydrates that you eat (that is, in muscles). Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you start resistance training:

  • Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps per exercise.
  • Start with a goal of one to two workouts per week of six to eight exercises. Eventually work up slowly to three days per week and 10 to 12 exercises.
  • Don’t resistance train the same muscle groups more often than every other day.
  • Gradually increase resistance or weight over time.
  • Do exercises with slow, controlled movements.
  • Extend and use the full range of motion around each joint you’re working.
  • Breathe out throughout the exercise, preferably during exertion, and always avoid holding your breath.
  • Stop exercise if you experience dizziness, unusual shortness of breath, chest discomfort, palpitations, or joint pain.