A Whole Body Workout With Big Diabetes Control Benefits
To manage diabetes your doctor may recommend losing a few (or more) pounds, toning your muscles, and getting regular aerobic exercise.
Though knowing this is good advice, accomplishing it may seem like a herculean task. Yet, there is one activity that simultaneously burns fat, builds muscle, and protects the heart.
Working out with kettlebells is a whole-body exercise that includes resistance, range-of-motion, and cardiovascular training—and it eats up calories. Kettlebell workouts also strengthen our core muscles. The required movements throw off our center of gravity so we engage our core muscles to stay balanced.
Consider these seven health and lifestyle benefits of kettlebell workouts:
- Research shows that kettlebell workouts annihilate calories. In one study a 20 minute kettlebell high-intensity interval routine burned an average of 20.2 calories per minute. While not all of us will choose to swing a kettlebell at this pace, working half, or even a quarter as hard will still consume considerable calories.
- Kettlebell workouts build and tone muscle without creating bulk. It strengthens back muscles, improves balance, joint flexibility, and reduces musculoskeletal aches and pains.
- As reported in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, for every 10 percent increase of skeletal muscle index (ratio of muscle mass to total body weight) there is an 11 percent drop in insulin resistance.
- According to endocrinologist Dr. John Buse, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the more muscle mass you have, the more blood sugar your body can dispose of in response to insulin.
- People who dislike lifting weights or other types of resistance training may find the movements used with kettlebells make muscle building enjoyable.
- Because kettlebell exercises are done standing in place, those with foot pain may find this a doable way to build body strength.
- Once the basic moves are mastered, kettlebell workouts can be done almost anywhere.
It’s easy to imagine that holding and swinging a weight improperly could cause muscle or joint harm, so learning safe kettlebell technique and form are essential. Most experts recommend spending time with a personal trainer or taking a beginner’s class to learn the movements correctly.
The only equipment necessary is one or two kettlebells. Women generally start with a kettlebell of no more than 8 to 15 pounds, and men usually begin with a 15 to 25 pounder.
Especially if you have been sedentary, check with your doctor before taking on a new exercise routine, and monitor your blood sugar before and after workouts. Dietary or medication adjustments may be necessary.