I’ve stressed fitness as a major pillar in keeping type 1 diabetes in check. Without a proper workout routine paired with a strong nutrition regimen, it becomes very difficult to control diabetes.
However, not all workouts are equal and not all fitness routines produce the same results.
Strength training is the most effective at controlling blood glucose levels and putting downward pressure on A1C levels.
In this article, I’m going to go over the three core reasons why you should adopt a strength training routine as a type 1 diabetic.
Reason #1: Strength Training Lowers Your BMR
Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the formal way of saying metabolism. It’s the number of calories you burn at rest.
Depending on your age, your base BMR varies. Generally, the older you are, the lower it is. However, through proper strength training routines, you can naturally increase your BMR.
How does this happen?
When you do any form of resistance training, your muscle fibers are broken down. To repair your muscle fibers, the body will direct more energy in the form of calories towards the broken muscles.
As a result, muscle tissues are enlarged and built to be stronger. But, because you continuously break down these fibers as part of your routine, you lock your body into a constant need for repair. This means your body requires more calories at rest.
Thus, your BMR has increased.
When your BMR is higher, the amount of glucose you burn is also higher. Glucose is delivered through the body as a form of energy. Logically, if you need more calories, you need more glucose.
As you can expect, as more glucose is burned, the concentration in your bloodstream is lower, meaning your A1C levels come down and your blood glucose levels are lower. This makes you significantly healthier and allows you to control type 1 diabetes much more easily.
Reason #2: Strength Training Routines Are Easy To Adopt
If you follow a clear and concise workout plan, such as the ones I’ve laid out in the 12-Week A1C Crusher Program, then you’ll find that adopting a good fitness routine is much easier when it incorporates workouts that are effective and produce real results.
For instance, my programs call for strength training workouts on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Each of these lasts about 45 minutes to an hour and has provided steady natural gains.
I don’t overexert in the gym to the point where I don’t like going anymore. Instead, I feel refreshed by the time the next workout comes and I’m ready to go. I also make sure to rotate exercises for better effectiveness and to keep things fun and fresh.
Compare this to cardio, where you’re doing the same bland exercise over and over again with little differentiation. There’s not much to look forward to, results are harder to measure and visually see (a major psychological factor). Plus, it’s exhausting.
I’m not saying that cardio isn’t important. You should make it a point to get a good walk or so in per week and find a sport that you enjoy playing. Anything to get your heart rate up. But when it comes to achieving fitness goals, cardio isn’t the best path forward because of its difficulty in keeping up with it.
Reason #3: Strength Training Creates a Positive Feedback Loop
As I mentioned earlier, seeing the physical results from resistance training is a major psychological factor.
Leaning down, seeing your muscles grow, your veins pop, and the increased attention from others is an easy way to stay motivated. Cardio isn’t something that is going to increase your muscle density.
Sure, you can get leaner with a precise cardio routine. But unless you were already muscular, you won’t be a showstopper. Getting chiseled requires strength training. Crafting a powerful and attractive physique requires weightlifting. Controlling type 1 diabetes becomes significantly easier when you’re perpetually motivated to work out and get stronger.
I cannot stress the benefits of a routine and the motivation to stick with it enough for a type 1 diabetic.
While cardiovascular activities are good to include in moderation, your core workout routine should be rooted in strength training. The benefits are substantial and the effects on your mentality, motivation, self-confidence, and happiness are extraordinary.
If you’re looking for a strong fitness plan along with a comprehensive program that lays out the path towards precise control of type 1 diabetes, check out the 12-Week A1C Crusher Program.