Pick Up Weights For Better Blood Sugar Control

These strength-training exercises build muscle and help your body use blood sugar more efficiently, making controlling your diabetes easier than ever.

Mirabai Holland, MFA

Not in the mood for a walk around the block? Try these easy strength-training moves instead. The exercises help build muscle, which helps your body use blood sugar more efficiently. The result? More energy and more even—and easily controlled—blood sugar levels! To get started, ask for your doctor’s okay, then begin with these body firmers.

Firm shoulders and thighs with a lateral raise with plié
Stand with heels shoulder-width apart, feet turned out at about 10 and 2 o’clock, and weights by your sides. Bend knees and slowly lift weights out to chest level. Then lower weights while straightening legs. Do 10-15 reps.
Posture pointer: The more you are able to turn out your toes, and the lower you can descend, the more of a workout your inner thighs will get.

De-jiggle upper and middle back, upper arms and abs with a one-arm dumbbell row
Stand with right foot forward, left foot back, knees bent as though walking. With weight in left hand, bend forward, hinging from your hips, back flat, supported by your right hand on right thigh. Let your left arm with weight hang down toward the floor. In one smooth motion, keeping abs pulled in, bring the weight to your hip. Do 10-15 reps, then switch sides and repeat.
Posture pointer: Don’t just move your arms up and down; use the back muscles below your shoulders to do the lifting.

Tighten chest, shoulders and arms with a…chest press
Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor. With a weight in each hand at chest level, push arms straight up, without locking the elbows. Do 10-15 reps.
Posture pointer: As you raise your elbows, keep them at a 45- to 60-degree angle from your torso. 

April 2013