Lifting weights before aerobic exercise improves blood glucose stability in diabetics

Lifting weights before aerobic exercise improves blood glucose stability in people with type 1 diabetes, according to a study published in Diabetes Care.

Resistance training also reduces the duration and severity of hypoglycemia after exercise, according to study findings.

Researchers from the University of Calgary in Canada studied 12 physically active people with type 1 diabetes. They had some of the participants run for 45 minutes before performing 45 minutes of resistance training. The remaining participants performed the weight training prior to running.

The scientists measured participants' blood glucose during exercise and for 60 minutes after exercise. They also measured interstitial glucose by continuous glucose monitoring 24 hours before, during and 24 hours after exercise.

By the end of exercise, glucose levels were not significantly different. However, the duration and severity of post-exercise hypoglycemia were somewhat greater in the aerobics-first group compared with the resistance-first group.

The aerobics-first participants were hypoglycemic for 105 minutes compared to 48 minutes for the resistance-first participants.

Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body does not produce insulin. It was previously called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus or juvenile-onset diabetes.

The exact mechanism for developing the disease is unknown. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some scientists suspect that type 1 diabetes may follow exposure to an environmental trigger, like an unidentified virus, that stimulates an immune attack against the beta cells of the pancreas leading to type 1 diabetes in genetically predisposed people.

Type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed in children and young adults. It makes up about five percent of all diabetes cases. About 25.8 million Americans are living with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

People living with type 1 diabetes just monitor blood glucose levels frequently throughout the day with blood glucose testing. Basic therapies include healthy eating, physical activity, and insulin injections.

Source: Diabetes Care, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Diabetes Association

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