November 13


Cardio vs Resistance Exercise – Which is Better for Our Glucose Numbers?

By Gabriela

November 13, 2017

Individuals with diabetes often pose the same question when it comes to exercise –“Does it matter which training I do?”

And as a matter of fact, yes it does matter, and it is very important. Our training should be beneficial for our blood glucose control and optimal health.

Grains in the muscle mass from training might elevate the caloric needs on a daily basis, improve blood glucose and help us to manage weight.

In order to achieve optimal cardiovascular fitness, the exercise program we have needed to have an aerobic component to preserve your strength and muscle mass and resistance training.

Aerobic Exercise

Cardiovascular exercise might be beneficial for those with diabetes. This type of activity is also known by the name aerobic exercise and cardio training. This type of training raises the heart rate higher than the usual rate.

Cardiovascular exercise might help to burn additional sugar in the body and at the same time lower resistance to insulin, two effects that are good for the control of diabetes.

A good cardio routine comes with a positive health effect like:

  • Improves circulation
  • Improves muscle strength
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Improves control of blood glucose levels
  • Reduces body fat
  • Increases the level of good cholesterol
  • Improves circulation
  • Increases levels of energy
  • Decreases the risk of coronary artery disease
  • Strengthens the heart

Concerns for Individuals with Diabetes

Individuals with diabetes need to keep their doctor well informed of anything which might influence their health.

This also includes exercise. Consult your doctor about which type of exercise is the best for you. Also, ask about any possible concerns and questions which arise as you exercise. Individuals with diabetes need to pay closer attention to their feet during exercise.

You can use air or silica gel midsoles and cotton-polyester socks in order to keep your feet dry and prevent possible blisters.

A Cardio Training Program

  • Swimming
  • Running or jogging
  • Dancing
  • Hiking or walking
  • Rowing
  • Using the elliptical machine or stair-step
  • Cross-country skiing

How one structures her or his exercise program depends on individual variables linked to current fitness level and overall health.

Often individuals with diabetes have complicated health concerns. Therefore it is essential to consult a doctor before they start the cardio training regimen.

Resistance Training

Resistance training is also known as strength training makes the body more sensitive to insulin and it can also help lower blood sugar. In addition, it builds and maintains strong bones and muscles, and reduces the risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis.

The more muscle we have that means the more calories to burn even while we rest. The key to having an independent lifestyle as we age is to prevent muscle loss through resistance training.

We should do some kind of resistance training at least two times a week along with aerobic activity.

Resistance Training Activities

  • Classes that involve resistance training.
  • Free weights or weight machines at the gym.
  • Activities that keep and build muscle such as heavy gardening.
  • Using resistance bands.
  • Exercises that use our body weight to work the muscles such as planks, pushups, wall-sits, sit-ups, lunges, and squats.
  • Lifting light objects or weights such as water bottles and canned goods.

Study on This Topic

According to one study mix of resistance and aerobic exercise is the best for individuals with type 2 diabetes.

What about you? Have you discovered some kinds of exercise to be less or more beneficial when it comes to your health? What is your favorite kind of exercise?


  • Gabriela

    Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Diabetes Health Page, Fitness trainer and instructor has dedicated her career to educating and informing people for over 10 years. As one of the most passionate diabetes advocates, Gabi has worked tirelessly to ensure that those people receive the education and support they need to properly manage their diabetes and achieve their health, fitness and weight loss goals.

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