Experts Speak

Diabetes Reversal Blueprint : Progressive Fitness

Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

What is Progressive Resistance Exercise?

Progressive Resistance Exercise (PRE) is a method of increasing the ability of one’s muscles to generate force by gradually increasing the weight, frequency, or number of repetitions in the strength training routine, thus making your musculoskeletal system stronger. Due to peripheral neuropathy and reduced vascular supply, glycaemic control in Type 2 Diabetes is compromised leading to muscle weakness, decreased muscle mass, and changes in skeletal muscle fibres. 

How does Progressive Resistance Exercise help in managing Diabetes?

The Skeletal muscle is a large reservoir for Glucose Disposal in our body.  in Type 2 Diabetes, due to Peripheral Neuropathy and reduced vascular supply, Glycaemic Control is often compromised leading to muscle weakness, decreased muscle mass, and changes in skeletal muscle fibres. 

Diabetes is often seen in individuals who are overweight and having abdominal obesity (belly fat). This causes a decline in glucose uptake due to impaired glycogen synthesis, thus needing an additional goal of weight loss and belly fat reduction for individuals having a BMI of 23 kg/m2 or higher.

Since Progressive Resistance Exercise has a direct effect on Skeletal Muscle, it is a powerful way to stimulate the Glucose Transporter Protein and Glucose Uptake. Resistance Training can combat Metabolic Dysfunction, Improve Glycaemic Control, Eliminate Metabolic Risk Factors and even reduce dependency on Medications.

Can anyone Practice Progressive Resistance Exercises?

Resistance Training has been demonstrated as being safe and efficacious for the elderly and obese individuals, by diminishing elevated blood glucose levels into the normal range thus helping improve insulin sensitivity, daily energy expenditure and quality of life.

Able-bodied individuals with impaired glucose tolerance and mild uncomplicated diabetes, can be given interventions of all levels, and personalized to include leisure activities, recreational sports, cycling, swimming and other activities you prefer and most importantly enjoy doing.

Individuals with limited or difficult mobility can be given very low-intensity actions like free hand exercises, chair surya namaskars and generally encouraged to be physically active rather than sedentary.

The Sugarfit Approach to Progressive Fitness

Progressive Fitness Interventions

The Sugar.Fit approach believes that creating a safe and enjoyable exercise program is as if not more important than the exercise itself. By identifying areas of concern, a comprehensive fitness plan was designed to minimize risks specific to the user and ensure safe participation consistent with the participant’s desires and goals. 

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends moderate-intensity exercises for at least 150 mins or 2-½ hours in a week. (Magkos F et al, 2008). In alignment with this, participants were given fitness plans aimed at burning belly fat. This comprised 5-6 mins of warm-up (arm/hip rotations or forward bends), 3-4 mins of cool-down (basic back, quad, neck stretches) and a main workout of brisk walks, stair exercises & yogasanas combined with strength training for 30 to 60 minutes.

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