Fitness Articles

Diabetes Weight-Loss Workout Plan

An 8-Week, Easy-to-Follow Plan for Beginners

3.9KSHARES
Regular exercise has long been proven to help people with diabetes reduce their risk of future complications and manage their blood sugar levels. A recent study published in the Nov. 24, 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association found that when people with type 2 diabetes did aerobic (cardio) exercise some days and resistance training on others, they had lower blood sugar levels after nine months than people who did either type of exercise alone. That's news to researchers who long believed that aerobic exercise alone was the best way to manage blood sugar.

According to Dr. Ronald Sigal, professor of medicine at the University of Calgary and author of an editorial that accompanied the published study, "Someone who wants to maximize the impact on glucose control and maximize the use of their time should do both aerobic and resistance exercise." He told HealthDay news that, "Even a relatively small amount of resistance exercise--one set twice a week for about 20 minutes--makes a difference."

If you're new to fitness or just want to renew your commitment to exercise and weight loss, SparkPeople's 8-Week Diabetes Weight Loss Challenge is for you! I created this workout plan for people of all fitness levels. It involves a proven combination of cardio exercise and strength training to rev your metabolism to help you manage your weight.  Another plus is that every workout can be tailored to your own fitness level, and you also get to pick activities that you enjoy.

How it Works
  • Do one toning video any 3 days per week. Each video will only take you 15-20 minutes to complete, and will work your body from head to toe. We start off with a video that doesn't require any equipment, and then change up the videos every two weeks using resistance bands, a stability ball and dumbbells. If you don't have the equipment, don’t' worry. An "alternative" (see chart) equipment-free workout is offered each week.
     
  • Do 3-5 cardio sessions per week. This program will gradually progress you from three 10-minute cardio workouts per week to five 20-minute sessions. You decide what to do and how intensely you want to work! You can dance, walk, bike, run, jump rope, swim, use a cardio machine (like the elliptical, treadmill, or stationary bike), take a fitness class or try a DVD—anything that gets your heart pumping! The more variety, the better! If you're new to exercise, aim for 5-10 minutes (or as close to that as you can manage, gradually increasing over time). If you've been at it a while, go longer—up to 60 minutes per session—if that suits your fitness level. Click any of the links above for full workout ideas.
     
  • Follow the plan for 8 weeks. This a great introduction to exercise if you're just starting out, since the videos make strength training easy with detailed instructions on form. But even if you're an avid exerciser, following this plan for a few weeks can add variety to your current program, which can help you bust a plateau and continue seeing results.
     
  • Get support and extra tips. Join our Challenge Team and you'll get weekly emails reminding you of your workouts, along with bonus food and weight-loss tips created for people with diabetes. Plus, you'll get support and encouragement from others following the plan with you!
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About The Author

Nicole Nichols Nicole Nichols
A certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with a bachelor's degree in health education, Nicole loves living a healthy and fit lifestyle and helping others do the same. Nicole was formerly SparkPeople's fitness expert and editor-in-chief, known on the site as "Coach Nicole." Make sure to explore more of her articles and blog posts.

Member Comments

  • MOLLIEJEAN1953
    my name is mollyjean, i have multiple health problems. i walk but cannot exercise. so what can i do. i have lost 30 pounds since my hubby die. thank you - 6/24/2015 10:40:46 PM
  • PERKYPPLAYER
    I have copd and am on oxygen......so Ihave to watch my oxygen levels while exercising. I need to loose about 100 lbs and get some energy back. I am in my 70's I am glad to have Spark People to help guide me on this journey. - 4/30/2015 9:24:14 AM
  • LGRASSHOPPER
    I am going to start with the videos for 3 days a week and then the cardio. I do have an elliptical machine and a treadmill. I also have a Curves membership that has the Jillian Michaels on the circuit. So I will incorporate all these together and hope to lose weight and tone up. - 10/13/2014 12:53:35 PM
  • I am very limited in what exercises I can do due to my left knee total replacement 3 years ago which did not go very well. I am still in on-going pain after several surgeries on this same knee over the past 3 years. I'm also having terrible low back pain. At the present time I am doing water therapy at our local Aqua Care Center but I don't know how much longer I will be able to do that because the pain is getting worse instead of better. So, I'm looking for suggestions on what I can do to get some exercise in. I do all of my regular routine things every day with tears in my eyes due to the pain but I know it is better to get up and do some type of movement than none at all. However I don't know if I'm getting enough to count towards losing weight. Help! SweetPotatoPie1 - 7/4/2014 5:08:51 PM
  • DAVIDLSCHIAVONE
    I don't believe regular exercise itself can bring down the weight. There should be some exact plan under some weight loss clinic. I have implemented the weight loss exercise program of Credit valley clinic. Their proper guidance helps me to achieve the shape and weight of my dreams. Exercise could be used to increase the resting metabolic rate and retain the reduced weight. - 2/6/2014 2:25:22 AM
  • I do not have a way to view the videos, however, I have a manual treadmill, yoga mat and guide book, and work out bands and walking weights. I will utilize these. Today, November 4, 2013 will be treadmill day. :P - 11/4/2013 8:38:55 AM
  • LINDAJ1804
    I am a boarder line diabetic. I don't want to cross that line. My weight ballooned up 25 pounds recently for no reason. I can't seem to get it together and get my weight loss back on track. I hope that this will help boost me. I also just signed up for spark people. I look forward to this challenge and the help from this sight. - 10/7/2013 2:14:16 PM
  • has the videos really helped anyone? or do you all do your own thing? if so what? I need to lose pounds and have left several messages to meet people on here and no one has responded!! trying to get feedback since Im diabetic as well - 9/2/2013 12:04:08 PM
  • I also have COPD , so it's hard for me . I have been doing the sitting ones. I have found. I have already lost 3 lbs in the few days I have been here.Dite also LOL

    http://www.spar
    kpeople.com/r
    esource/video
    s-detail.asp?video=42

    http://www.spar
    kpeople.com/r
    esource/video
    s-detail.asp?video=38 - 8/19/2013 10:34:04 AM
  • I am going to start with the videos tomorrow am. not sure which ones yet, but like the idea of having many to choose from. thank you - 8/16/2013 10:07:41 PM
  • Here's a silly comment, where are the TONING videos? - 7/20/2013 7:28:24 AM
  • Today is my 30th Birthday, I just found out that I have type 2 diabetes, I had gestational type 2 when I was pregnant with my baby girl who is now 18 and a half months now. and I recently quite smoking not even a month ago. I have been fighting with my weight for years now but nothing this bad, I need help I am doing this alone and I really don't know what kind of food to be eating, what exercises to be doing, I don't get my medication till next week I think, I will find out on Friday when im supposed to be starting that, I go in to Edmonton on the 17th for a breast reduction and I know im not allowed to do much for at least 6 weeks after the surgery, I am going to start taking a weight loss supplement to help me lose the weight and I also know how to check my blood sugars, I have goals and know what steps I have to take but I get upset and don't keep track when I don't see the progress or get the feed back, is there anyone out there that can help motivate me to stay on track - 4/9/2013 4:02:10 PM
  • BERTL29
    I have been diabetic for 15+ years and am currently swimming at college. I have a ton of first-hand experience with exercising and diabetes and would love to share to you guys an article I wrote about the subject. If you're interested just check out the link below and let me know if you like the information.

    http://www.body
    athleticsblog
    .com/2013/03/
    10/dealing-di
    abetes-athlet
    ics-blood-sugar/ - 3/10/2013 8:20:04 PM
  • This is great! I can do these in the morning or evening. This should keep me motivated. - 3/6/2013 8:45:35 PM
  • Thank you for this information. I am a type 2 diabetic and limited mobility. These excerces are just right for me. - 12/4/2012 3:19:42 AM

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