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Lifting Weights before Cardio may Control Blood Sugar Better

A new Canadian study suggests that blood sugar in diabetes patients may be controlled better when lifting weights before cardio workouts.

Such effect was seen in twelve individuals with type 1 diabetes who lifted weights and ran for at least three times a week. The subjects also participated in experimental exercise sessions at two separate occasions. At the first session, 45 minutes each for treadmill followed by weight lifting were done by the participants. The order of the exercises was reversed for the second session. Both of the sessions were done at five in the evening.

Blood sugar levels were watched before, during, and after the exercise was performed. When the levels were becoming low, based on the safest range of 4 to 10 millimoles per liter of blood (mmol/L), the subjects were asked to pause for a snack. If a person’s blood sugar plummets, he or she is at risk for loss of consciousness or coma.

It was observed that in the first of two series of sessions, blood sugar levels dropped and remained low during exercise as compared to the levels observed at the second session when weights were lifted before going on the treadmill. Weight-lifting also provided benefit for the subjects’ blood sugar even hours after the exercise, such that the drops were less serious and shorter in period.

Limits of the study were that the population was small and other factors were discounted, such as hormone levels and diet and lifestyle preferences. Also, whether the same results would be true in other type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients who are not as fit and young as the subjects in the study remains undetermined.

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