The term Metabolic Syndrome refers to a way of identifying individuals at high risk for the development of heart disease and diabetes mellitus (type 2)
The World Health Organisation lists the following criteria for metabolic syndrome:
High insulin levels – an elevated fasting blood glucose or an elevated post-meal glucose level alone, with at least two of the following criteria:
- Abdominal obesity
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
Strength training with diabetes mellitus
- ensure your diabetes is stable before exercising
- ensure there are no complications that can be affected by maximal exertion
The major benefits of strength training in individuals with diabetes are:
- Improved blood cholesterol profiles
- Increased heart function
- Decreased blood pressure
- Improved insulin sensitivity and blood glucose control
- Improved muscular strength, power and endurance
- Increased bone strength
Strength training has been shown to
- Increase fat-free mass
- Increase muscular strength
- Increase basal metabolic rate
- Decrease the visceral and subcutaneous adipose (fat) tissue in the abdominal region.
The basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the base rate at which your body consumes calories for basic metabolic functions like maintaining internal temperature, repairing cells and pumping blood. In other words, it is the rate at which your body consumes calories when at rest.
Your basal metabolic rate is also greatly affected by the amount of muscle mass you have. The higher the muscle mass, the higher your BMR. Muscle, even at rest, burns significantly more calories than fat and other tissues. Dieticians now recognise that a safe strengthening training programme is a preferred exercise option to burn calories, improve muscle mass and tone. This is great news for people with type 2 diabetes who are managing their disease through lifestyle efforts.
Strength training for your cardiovascular system
During strength training there are increased demands placed on the muscles being exercised. This results in more oxygen being required. Oxygen is delivered to muscles via the oxygenated blood from the heart.
The harder the muscles work, the harder the heart works to supply the required oxygen, resulting in increased heart rate and blood volume. Ultimately, this results in enhanced cardiovascular efficiency.
Strength training will not transform you into an athlete, but you do not need the aerobic capacity of a marathon runner to have a healthy and efficient cardiovascular system.
Strength training allows you to participate in recreational activities you enjoy and to achieve your personal exercise goals with less effort, more energy and increased confidence.