Fitness Articles

Diabetes Weight-Loss Workout Plan

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

Refer to the chart below for your 8-Week Diabetes Weight Loss Workout Plan.

  Strength Training (3 days per week) Cardio
Week 1 Follow the 15-Minute Desk Workout Perform three 10-minute cardio workouts.
Week 2 Follow the 15-Minute Desk Workout Perform three 10-minute cardio workouts.
Week 3 Follow the 20-Minute Band Workout OR this equipment-free alternative Perform three 15-minute cardio workouts.
Week 4 Follow the 20-Minute Band Workout OR this equipment-free alternative Perform four 15-minute cardio workouts.
Week 5 Follow the 20-Minute Dumbbell Workout OR this equipment-free alternative Perform four 15-minute cardio workouts.
Week 6 Follow the 20-Minute Dumbbell Workout OR this equipment-free alternative Perform four 20-minute cardio workouts.
Week 7 Follow the 15-Minute Ball Workout OR this equipment-free alternative Perform five 20-minute cardio workouts.
Week 8 Follow the 15-Minute Ball Workout OR this equipment-free alternative Perform five 20-minute cardio workouts.

I have limited mobility and/or diabetes complications. Will these workouts work for me?
Good question. Talk to your doctor first about what types of exercise are safe and what you should avoid. The 20-Minute Resistance Band Workout above does take place seated, so stick with that workout week to week if seated workouts are the best thing for you. I've also created a series of seated exercise videos that you can use for ideas or as an alternative to the videos prescribed here, including a Seated Cardio Workout, which is great for people with limited mobility of diabetes complications that affect the feet. Use this as your three-times-weekly cardio workout if needed, but keep in mind that other types of cardio exercises (including swimming, an arm "bicycle" called an ergometer, chair dancing/aerobics classes, etc. are also viable options). No plan can be one-size-fits-all, but as long as you're getting moving and aiming for both cardiovascular exercise and muscle-toning exercises throughout the week, you'll be well on your way to a healthier body and heart, improved blood sugar levels, and a trimmer waistline.

What if I miss a day or a week?
If you miss a day, just move forward. This workout plan should be thought of as a guideline, so if you mess up here and there, don't worry—just get back to it!

What if I can't do some of the exercises?
Most of the videos will give you ideas to modify your workouts. But if there's any reason you can't do a certain exercise, don't feel pressured to try it. You can modify it as instructed, decrease your range of motion, use less weight (or no weights), or just skip the exercise entirely. Be sure to listen to your body and work at your own pace. And don't forget to check with your doctor before starting any exercise plan. If you have other mobility or medical issues that restrict your exercise activity, that's OK. You and your doctor know best what is safe and effective for you. So as long as you're working on strengthening your body three days a week--even without using our provided workouts--you're essentially meeting these recommendations and completing the challenge.

Does it matter which days I work out?
You don't have to start on any particular day or week, and for the most part, you can do these strength training video and cardio workouts on any days that work for your schedule. However, for best results, rest from strength training at least one day before doing the video again. Also remember that it is safe to do cardio on the same day as strength training if that works out for your schedule.

What if I don't have time for all of this exercise?
Did you know that your workouts can be split up into smaller sessions and you'll still achieve virtually the same benefits? If you need to, do a portion of the video early in the day, and another portion later. The same goes for cardio—you can split up cardio into 10-minute increments throughout your day to fit it in. If you still don't have the time, reassess your commitment to fitness and to this challenge. Managing diabetes, losing weight, and getting fit does all take time, so carve it out when you can. Otherwise, just do you best to come as close to the recommendations here, as your time allows.

What if I have more questions or need support?
Join our 8-Week Diabetes Weight Loss Challenge Team to connect with other people who are following this workout plan. There, you'll also get weekly emails to help you stay motivated and reach your goals and can "play" for the chance to win weekly and quarterly prizes by participating!

Overall, this workout plan will make sure you're targeting each of your major muscle groups in new ways so that you'll have more fun and be more likely to stick with it! Enjoy!

Selected Source
Exercise Combo Best for Type 2 Diabetes via HealthDay News
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About The Author

Nicole Nichols Nicole Nichols
Nicole was named "America's Top Personal Trainer to Watch" in 2011. A certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with a bachelor's degree in health education, she loves living a healthy and fit lifestyle and helping others do the same. Check out her workout DVDs and read her blog posts.

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Member Comments

    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
    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


    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.

    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
  • Funny.... A few years ago, I tried to get my sister to join Spark. She was told she COULD NOT join because she IS a DIABETIC! Now, you are providing exactly the things she came here for in the first place and was turned away. - 5/5/2012 12:03:51 AM
  • I have been following the plan so far I feel great. I do find it difficult to understand where to post completed goals on the community board. - 4/26/2012 2:56:25 PM

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