Diabetes is a disease that has now reached epidemic proportions. Worldwide governments and health officials are becoming increasingly concerned by the number of people being affected by the condition every single week.
In fact, out of all diagnosed cases of the disease, type-2 diabetes accounts for more than 90% of all cases of the disease. Some believe this is even higher.
What is even more worrying is that the condition can be avoided, by certain lifestyle changes. Obesity is a significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes, and weight loss is one of the best treatments and preventative measures for type-2 diabetes.
This can be achieved through diet and physical activity. To help you manage your weight, we’re now going to look at 3 of the best exercise techniques designed to help you reach your weight-loss goals.
1) High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training, and it is a revolutionary new training protocol that is taking the health and fitness world by storm.
The basic idea behind HIIT is that you alternate between periods of slow and steady exercise, and fast-paced exercise performed at a high intensity.
Many people, when performing cardio on a treadmill, for example, will set the treadmill at a moderate pace and will jog gently for a prolonged period. 45 – 60 minutes often seems to be the magic number.
With HIIT, you would set the treadmill during your workout to a slow pace and walk for, say, 60 seconds. You would then crank up the speed until you were sprinting at close to 100% of your max exertion levels and would sprint for 30 seconds or so.
After those 30 seconds, you would slow down to a walk for 60 seconds. You then repeat the process for several rounds.
A typical HIIT workout will last just 20 minutes. During that time, you can potentially burn off as many as 400 calories. You also continue to burn calories after your session has ended.
This is known as the ‘afterburn effect,’ and it results in a temporary increase in your metabolism.
What is even more promising is that HIIT is especially effective at burning subcutaneous and abdominal fat in type-2 diabetics. Those with diabetes and pre-diabetes tend to lose more fat with HIIT workouts, than those without the disease.
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2) Resistance training
Resistance training is not purely for people looking to build muscle and increase their strength. It turns out that resistance training is also very beneficial for people looking to lose weight.
Resistance training helps to strengthen, build, and tone lean muscle tissue, which in turn can increase a person’s metabolism.
Lean muscle tissue is harder for the body to maintain than fat, so it requires more energy to do so. This is where metabolism increases. Increased metabolism means that you burn more calories.
Resistance training also helps improve flexibility and mobility.
Most promising of all, however, at least in this instance, is that resistance training is a very promising strategy in promoting overall metabolic health in individuals suffering from type-2 diabetes.
This is because it has been found that muscle cell mitochondria performance rates increase, and increased muscle mass may also improve insulin sensitivity rates and blood glucose regulation.
Put simply, do not just stick to cardio when looking to lose weight, especially if you have diabetes.
Not everybody has the time, or the health and fitness, to perform HIIT or resistance training, nor do they have access to a gym.
Some may not enjoy training at a gym. If this is the case for you, then why not lace up your walking shoes and go walking a few times each week instead?
Walking is an extremely effective cardiovascular-based workout that is extremely beneficial for people looking to burn calories and lose weight.
Walking is especially suitable for people with joint issues, or who may not be as able-bodied as they once were. It is a much lower-impact form of exercise than running or weight training.
Just 30 minutes of fairly brisk walking each day could potentially burn off as many as 150 calories, which, over the duration of the week, will undoubtedly help you to shed those stubborn pounds that are putting your health at risk.
Aim to walk at least three times per week. You can go for a walk to the local store for groceries, you can walk around the neighborhood, or you could head somewhere scenic and do your walking there.
As long as you are walking and are physically active, the weight will come off, and your fitness and endurance will improve.
Get Motivated to Work Out
Beginning a regular exercise routine, especially if you have been inactive for a while, can be challenging at first. This is where motivation is key! Here are some tips to help get your motivated on your journey to better fitness.
- Set small fitness goals: Progress isn’t instant—one workout doesn’t make you in shape. Set small achievable goals and as you improve you can challenge yourself according to your fitness levels.
- Find a work out buddy: Research has shown that exercising with another person can be very beneficial. Not only does it motivate you but the competition can make you push harder. Couple workouts are becoming increasingly popular, so why not set a his and her workout routine at home!
- Update your playlist: Is there a certain song that pushes through the final stretch of your run? In one study it was found that the use of music during low- to moderate-level intensity exercise was associated with clear improvements in endurance.
Being diabetic does not mean that you have to let the disease define who you are. Implementing a weight loss plan and exercise routine will massively help you to control and regulate the condition.
There have been some instances where weight loss through a healthy diet and exercise, has actually forced the disease into remission. As long as you are losing any excess weight you are carrying; your health will improve for the better.