General Instructions for Resistance Training

by diabetes care guide
“Resistance training” is nothing to be afraid of. It simply means using weight or weight machines to work your muscles. A weight can be anything from a dumbbell to a can of soup from the pantry. Another good tool to use is a resistance band.


Resistance training is important because it helps maintain or possibly build muscle strength which will help to improve your energy level and increase the effectiveness of the insulin your body makes or the insulin your doctor may prescribe.

Like aerobic exercise, there are some things to consider before beginning resistance training. If you have any eye complications due to your diabetes (retinopathy) you should get clearance from your health care provider before beginning. An aneurism or hernias (other than hiatus hernia) are other ailments that will likely preclude you from resistance training. If in doubt, check it out.

If you’re interested in starting a resistance program, it is best to speak with a qualified fitness instructor. They will review proper techniques and help you avoid injury.

Generally it is advised to start slowly and gradually work up the amount of weight you can lift and the number of repetitions you can do. Here’s an example of how you should progress:

Lift band/weight smoothly and under control.

A minimum of 60 seconds rest should be taken between sets.

DO NOT HOLD YOUR BREATH. Exhale when the band is being stretched or weight is being lifted against gravity (most difficult part of the exercise).

Progression Steps:

1 set of 10 repetitions per exercise

When you’re ready, slowly increase to 1 set of 15 repetitions

Increase weight slightly & aim for 1 set of 10 repetitions

As you progress increase to 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions

Resistance training can be done 2 – 3 times a week. Leave at least 48 hours between sessions. Your fitness instructor can ensure you are using the right amount of weight and completing a safe number of repetitions while assessing that your technique is safe.

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