Give Diabetes the Boot: Fitness Boot Camp, That Is

If you like challenging, varied workouts that use little or no special equipment, and create a feeling of camaraderie among participants, you might enjoy a fitness boot camp.

Though boot camp routines vary, they are generally a mix-up of aerobic and muscle toning exercises designed to build strength, endurance, and agility. It is essentially a type of interval training where bursts of intense activity are alternated with periods of lighter activity.

Interval training is good for us because we have three types of muscle fibers: slow, fast, and super-fast. While typical cardio (aerobic) workouts exercise the slow ones, interval training strengthens our faster twitching fibers. This in turn provides a cascade of beneficial metabolic effects.

Theoretically, this type of exercise is good for every body; however, not everybody is ready for interval training.

Are You Ready?

If you like intense workouts, and have a good foundation in aerobic and strength training, you are likely prepared to participate in a fitness boot camp. Still, before signing up, it’s a good idea to ask whether the program has prerequisites, or if it’s suitable for any special needs or health issues you have.

Other questions to ask are:

  • Is this program a good balance of aerobic and strength training?
  • What are the instructor’s qualifications?
  • Is this boot camp a good match for my health and fitness goals?
  • What do those who went through this boot camp say about it?

Those of us who have not been exercising regularly, are over 40, have diabetes or other health issues, should talk to a physician before beginning any new exercise regimen—especially an intense one.

The Workout and Benefits

Should you pass muster for boot camp and decide to join, a well thought out program will help you meet the general exercise recommendations of twice weekly strength training, and 150 minutes moderate - or 75 minutes vigorous - aerobic activity each week.

To reach these recommendations, participants can expect to do calisthenics such as pushups, pull-ups, crunches and lunges, plus military-style drills, and sprints. Some classes might include yoga, Pilates, or martial art moves.

Beside the overall strength and conditioning provided, high intensity interval training burns more calories, in less time, than more moderate aerobic workouts. In one study, women who did high-intensity interval training for 20 minutes, three times per week, lost three times more body fat than women exercising at a regular pace for 40 minutes, three times per week.

A Bit of Motivation

Though not all of us are boot camp material, exercise is aces at preventing or controlling chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Each of us needs to regularly engage in physical activities that we enjoy.

“Exercise is simply one of the most powerful tools available to drop your insulin levels, and elevated insulin levels are one of the primary drivers for [chronic] illnesses and weight gain. It is my belief that properly performed exercise is far more powerful for controlling symptoms than any drug yet developed.” ~ Dr. Joseph Mercola

Mayo Clinic; Mercola; Mercola Fitness
Photo credit: Raj Taneja

Get a Free Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to InformationAboutDiabetes.com who may contact you with updates and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy.

More Articles

Limiting our intake of highly processed foods, and eating more whole and lightly processed fare can boost our nutrient and fiber intake, lower...

Chamomile tea has long been prized for its calming properties, but few people realize it’s also beneficial for glucose regulation. Traditionally,...

Today, the healing benefits of essential oils are more than the claims of ancient tradition and alternative medicine. They are increasingly the...

The different sugar content of fruits can be confusing when you are trying to manage your...

There is nothing close to a one-size-fits-all exercise program for those with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. The best general advice is to...

More Articles

Keeping your blood sugar levels under control can be tough. There are so many factors that can affect blood sugar, like exercise, food, illness,...

Today, the healing benefits of essential oils are more than the claims of ancient tradition and alternative medicine. They are increasingly the...

Stomach aches and other gastrointestinal pains can be signs of a bigger problem. One such problem for diabetics is gastroparesis, or delayed...

Two of the most common symptoms of diabetes are increased thirst and increased urine production. These symptoms are so prevalent in diabetics that...

The different sugar content of fruits can be confusing when you are trying to manage your...

Most people with insulin-dependent diabetes use syringes and lancets every day. However, many of them do not know how to dispose of these...

People with type 1 and type 2 diabetes have successfully competed in the Olympic Games. Their amazing stories prove that diabetes is no match for...

Explaining diabetes to children can seem like a daunting task, but in reality, it is no more difficult than discussing anything else important....

Diabetes is a complex disease, affecting virtually every part of the body. The damage it does, to nerve endings, blood vessels, organs, and the...

If your child has diabetes, you want him or her to be safe while in school and to have the same educational opportunities as other children....

The American Diabetes Association estimates that more than 7 million people in the United States have diabetes but don’t know it yet. These people...

Do not let pictures of yoga experts with their bodies twisted into bizarre, compact shapes fool you. Even people with stiff muscles, creaky joints...

While some celebrities aren't quick to talk about living with diabetes, others are quite transparent and inspiring - acting as advocates for the...

People with diabetes are about twice as likely to experience heart disease as those without the condition, making cardiovascular health a critical...

All diabetics know that maintaining proper blood sugar levels is the lifeline...