Aerobic vs. anaerobic exercise

since i began to exercise more after i was diagnosed, i realise i’ve only been focusing on aerobic exercise (i.e.: cardio workouts), which is mostly jogging. i’m gradually increasing the distance i run and am currently up to a 5km jog about 5 times a week.

i’ve been thinking of starting some anaerobic exercise like strength/weight training or pilates as i think toning and training different muscles is just as important as keeping our hearts healthy and i’m wondering if such exercises would have any bearing on diabetes management. i am very, very keen on joining a pilates class.

since anaerobic exercise is probably of a lower impact than jogging, running or swimming (which is something else i’m looking to pick up again soon), i don’t think blood sugars will be very difficult to handle. can anyone give me (and all of us!) the lowdown on how anaerobic exercise can benefit us?

I do pilates or yoga three times a week. LOVE it. Although I’ve always been active - I have just started swimming, jogging, or getting other cardiac work at least 30 minutes per day. In my opinion, I get the most in terms of a full workout - cardio and toning - from swimming. After about six weeks of increased activity, I’ve lost around 15 lbs and my energy level is up - plus my body is feeling a lot stronger.

I think any efforts we make to build muscle helps our metabolism to burn more fat and lean muscle can help keep cho levels at bay if that’s a concern…

I believe that BGs are more likely to go UP when doing anaerobic exercise, but the long term effects are worth it as a healthier body makes for better BG balance in the end.

If I want to do aerobic exercise I always have to eat first - often chocolate because it’s medium GI, takes a while to absorb because of the fat, and… well it’s all excuses, I just like chocolate :smiley:

If I want to do anaerobic stuff I’ll jab just a tiny amount first, and keep an eye on my BGs. I don’t do a lot of anaerobic exercise so I haven’t really settled into a good routine with it. I prefer aerobic anyway :slight_smile:

Muscle mass increases are a more effective way to lose weight than dieting. Muscle weighs more than fat, so you could actually be heavier, but more trim and fit. Always use a mirror and not a scale to determine how your exercise regimen is going. A body fat percentage measurement is always a good thing to do before you start, in order to track your progress.

Metabolic rate is increased with muscle mass, so weight training will affect how quickly you burn calories. It will increase the body’s capacity to burn more fuel, faster.

When using weights, concentrate first on simple exercises like squats, bench press, overhead press, rows, deadlift. The squat can be considered both aerobic and anaerobic, depending on your amount of reps. If you don’t believe that, do 3x20 squats (of substantial weight) and monitor your heart rate/oxygen intake. Squats are one of the best exercises for women (tight butt and legs). Squats also help maintain bone mass density, something very beneficial for women. They are also one of the best overall exercises for men, instigating testosterone production and natural HGH. In a study of hundreds of weight lifters, body builders and prison inmates (who lift weights all day), when asked if they could only do one exercise to stay fit, everyone voted for the squat. It’s my opinion that free weights are better, for they allow the body to naturally strengthen other tendons and cartilage when compared to machines. If putting a bar behind your neck is a problem, the Top Squat is a great tool to help alleviate backward shoulder rotation when holding the bar.

Great resources for weight training:
WOMEN — Krista Smash
Dave Draper
Clarence Bass

I have been doing weight resistance training for more than 12 years. I started with the goal of gaining weight by adding lean muscle mass. This has made me more sensitive to insulin which is a good thing and I have been able to maintain an A1C of less than 6.0%. It has also made me stronger and reduced the aches and pains that come with living for 70 years and practicinng Type 1 diabetes management for 40 years. It’s time for a CURE, thank you.

Recently I read an article about a study with Type 2’s that showed that the combination of aerobic training and weight resistance training together results in better glycemic control than either one alone. I guess it’s time to get back on the Elliptical machine.


Dr. Bernstein (remember him?) claims that anaerobic exercise increases insulin sensitivity. He is not high on aerobic exercise and recommends that when you do it, you go all out as hard and as fast for as long as you can, get your breath back, then do it again. In other words, use your aerobic exercise in an anaerobic way.

For me, I find that anaerobic exercise does more dramatically lower bgs. But I don’t use exercise to lower bgs on a transient basis. I use it to keep healthy and to lower bg’s overall - therefore I mix them up with aerobic one day and anaerobic the next.