Exercise -- Is working out with weights better exercise than other things?

By CaliKo Latest Reply 2010-09-28 11:09:51 -0500
Started 2010-09-19 16:12:14 -0500

I never exercised much before being diagnosed with T2 almost two years ago. I took my CDE classes and began walking at least 5 times a week. During the first year, I also added aerobics 4 days a week and still walked at least 4 days a week. My numbers began to fall mostly in the "normal" ranges. I followied my meal plan and kept exercising. After getting a bad result from a bone density test, my doctor told me walking was good, but I needed to do something weight-bearing. So I began doing a workout with weights tape three times a week. Guess what? My glucose readings dropped a lot. Now they are on the low side of normal on the days I do my weights. Is it exercising with weights that did this? Or simply adding three more workouts, 45 minutes each? Any opinions or similar experiences?

24 replies

lldmbro06 2010-09-24 16:10:01 -0500 Report

Wow.. Thanks for sharing ur experience. I was recently diagnosed with T1 and I am going to try to imitate wat u've done. i think imma start exercising with weights instead of just simple workouts.. That might bring my glucose readings down to the normal side as well.. thanks again

CaliKo 2010-09-24 16:17:18 -0500 Report

You're quite welcome. Do both, I added the weights workout to my aerobic workout, just alternating different exercises at different times of the day. Right now, its a 2-mile walk-run 3 times a week, 45 minutes of aerobics 4 times a week, and 45 minutes of weight training, 3 times a week. Whew! I do think we need both aerobic and strength training. Good Luck!

lldmbro06 2010-09-26 22:33:21 -0500 Report

I agree… Wow, that's a lot of exercise. I don't think I can handle all of that but it's worth a shot..

sisson 2010-09-21 00:10:43 -0500 Report

I don't know how close you are to a gym but I am a frim beliver in water aerobics it is alot of fun you do zumba salsa and you use water weights. But find a class with a trainer that motavates you and gets you going.

CaliKo 2010-09-21 10:25:11 -0500 Report

I used to belong to a gym, but most of the classes I wanted to take were during my work day. I'm saving the idea (because it does appeal to me) for the happy day my husband tells me I can retire. For now, I do lots of exercise tapes at home, and also do a walk-run in the neighborhood. Thanks for the suggestion.

jason123 2010-09-21 06:56:28 -0500 Report

This is an excellent suggestion. I haven't done any water aerobics or aqua-exercise, but I heard it is really good for people with injuries…I have talked to a few who need to exercise but they are hurt, have disabilities, maybe this is an option for them? any take on this?

GabbyPA 2010-09-21 10:16:35 -0500 Report

I like it because I can work hard and get the heart rate going, but I have so much fun I don't want to stop. The water is relaxing in a way too, and if I get hot, I just dunk in for a quick cool off and keep going. I really like water exercise.

jayabee52 2010-09-27 03:04:31 -0500 Report

my mom does water aerobics 3x week. she's almost & she's 80 y/o and (unfortunately) about 300lbs. She loves it.

Kaiyle 2010-09-20 15:22:59 -0500 Report

I am not a lover of exercise, but when I began to see how it was bringing my blood sugar levels down to normal range, I have come to appreciate it very much. So I decided since I must exercise, I might as well have fun while I'm doing it. Therefore, I Zumba, and just last week I added on strength training. I've been pumping hard every since I learned I was a diabetic in June of this year, and I still don't love it, but I'm absolutely enjoying it!!!! I really haven't seen much difference in my blood sugar levels since adding on the strength training. My blood sugars stay in the range of 70-125.

jason123 2010-09-20 15:55:55 -0500 Report

Zumba is some kind of aerobics right? I tried it once at YMCA…I am the only guy in there, and there are just too many moves to remember…I stick with the simple stuff, eliptical machine and spinning class…

Kaiyle 2010-09-20 21:15:41 -0500 Report

Yes it is Latin moves put into aerobics. There are a lot of steps, but I don't focus so much on getting every step right. I just feel the music and move and most times I actually get the steps…LOL

CaliKo 2010-09-20 15:34:46 -0500 Report

Nice blood sugars! I haven't heard of Zumba, but I saw you posted some videos, so I'll check it out. Thanks.

GabbyPA 2010-09-20 11:00:47 -0500 Report

I have found that my body gets used to what I do and if I don't change it up from time to time, it levels out. As long as those muscles are using your glucose up and it is not hanging out in the blood stream or in the fat cells, it is all good.

CaliKo 2010-09-20 11:05:40 -0500 Report

Thanks, I agree. I was very excited to learn that muscles can use glucose during exercise without insulin! No wonder exercise is so helpful.

GabbyPA 2010-09-20 19:22:00 -0500 Report

That is our magic bullet to be sure. It needs to be taught more, then we would be more willing to do that.

Guardianstone 2010-09-20 02:54:37 -0500 Report

how are you and your numbers?
You have a good question. My findings have been weights are just as good as walking if you are not strolling through your walk. Pushing for speed (not racing) while walking burns as many calories as weight lifting.
With both ankles and wrists arthritic neither exercise is comfortable for me. I walk about 5-8 miles a week to the stores. Hauling groceries home is the major weight I work out with.
I have lost 40 lbs since April 2010.
Keep going if it works. Don't push too hard. You'll burn out, or hurt yourself. (gave up riding my bike after taking 3 too many falls in the Phoenix Az streets.)
Gods love to all
Guardian stone

CaliKo 2010-09-20 09:13:09 -0500 Report

Thanks for the tips, and congrats on the weight loss. My bg numbers are good, so I'm hoping for an improved A1c next month at my 6-month checkup. I was 6.2 in April. My before work walking partner just decided that she needed to walk later in the day, so I'm changing my walk to a walk-run instead. My sister runs marathons and used to coach an over 50 group, so she's giving me tips on starting out. I suspect a variety of exercise is best, but being so new to exercise, I'm just stumbling around in the dark. Literally, at 5:30 in the morning!

jason123 2010-09-19 18:04:03 -0500 Report

kudos to you and your spirit of exercising! I went through a lot of the same routine as you did. I think weight training definately contributed to your lowering bg, but cardio training got to be the driver, it burns the most calories and sugar.

I use to go to gym 6 days a week, eliptical 6 days, weight training every day (different muscles), spinning class 3 days, also kick boxing, yoga lol…now I only do pushups, running 3 days, walking 2 days. My A1C for the last 2 1/2 years has ranged from 5.1 - 5.5, little changed, even after I was taken off metformin a few monthes ago…Are you still following your CDE's meal plan? I tossed it out of the window after a few weeks. I was suppose to eat 45 -60 g of carbs per meal, I can't handle it, not without massive amount of meds…you are still eating a lot of carbs if you are doing the meal plan, what is your A1C like?

CaliKo 2010-09-19 20:26:19 -0500 Report

Thank you. Excellent A1Cs! Mine was 7.0 when diagnosed, then 5.8, 5.8 and the last one was 6.2. I haven't had one since I started the weight training in April. I'm due for a check up in October, and I'm curious to see if its better or worse. I don't think I have as many carbs on my meal plan as you do, just 135-150 per day, spread evenly. My calories are supposed to be between 950-1200. When I eat more than I'm supposed to, I stick to proteins and fats for the most part. The exercise makes me so hungry sometimes. I'm not on diabetic meds yet, just a statin.

Armourer 2010-09-27 23:48:52 -0500 Report

That's great you aren't on diabetic meds! Keep doing what your doing. When they switched me to insulin I gained 25 lbs. Been on diet of 1000 calories a day for over a year and haven't lost a pound. Doc said I needed to add a gym, that walking around the block wasn't making it. I gained another 8 pounds, and when keeping a journal of what I eat I gained another 14 pounds. The gym and weights did nothing until the last couple of weeks and it has started to come off. My big problem is a bad back and sciattic nerve damage. I can't run, or even walk fast. It is all I can do to walk on a rreadmill for 25 min. at 1.6 mpg. Yea, excersize is important, just wish I could do it and make it work. I'm terrible with insulin resistance. Basically I've learned not to eat carbs at all, even the good one's I don't respond to well, and to top it off, I don't eat meat!

CaliKo 2010-09-28 11:09:51 -0500 Report

Thanks, I will keep on. We're all in this for the long haul, I guess. I'm sorry for your pain, and hope you find some exercise that works for you. I juggle three chronic diseases, but I'm lucky none of them cause me much pain at this point. Good luck.

jason123 2010-09-19 21:12:28 -0500 Report

I am sure you will get a lower A1C in October. If you take 135-150g of carb per day, that is definately more than I take…I don't count my carb intake per day any more, but it is probably less than 100g. I don't count my calories per day any more either, I use to count them both, boy was that a lot of work LOL. I am really surprised you can handle all those carbs without diabetic meds and still have an A1C so low, those exercise are surely paying off for you! I use to rely on exercises to bring my sugar down when I was just DXed, can't stay from the carbs…Well, you keep up the good work, and you'll do better than your father :-)

CaliKo 2010-09-20 09:19:09 -0500 Report

I'm a snacker, so with 3 meals and 3 snacks, the carbs are spread pretty thin throughout the day, and mostly from fruits and whole grains. I'd like to have A1Cs as low as yours, so I may try a 100 carb/day diet for awhile if need be after this next dr. visit. I too got tired of counting carbs/fat/proteins and calories every day, that lasted 3 months for me. But I did get a pretty good idea of what I should be eating, and the weight continued to drop and the numbers kept improving, so I don't worry so much with all the details right now. I'm sure I'll go back and forth with obsessing about it. Thanks for your note.