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Managing or preventing Type 2 diabetes almost always involves losing weight. In fact, more than 90 percent of people with Type 2 diabetes are either overweight or obese. In general, weight loss follows a simple formula: Calories burned must exceed calories consumed.
But what exercise method is best for losing weight – weightlifting or cardio? Let’s examine the options.
Cardiovascular exercises, such as brisk walking, swimming, dancing and stair climbing, raise the heart rate and quickly burn calories.
A 154-pound person, for example, burns:
A 2012 study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that aerobic activity is the optimal method of exercise to reduce fat and body mass.
The benefits of cardio exercise are expanded when weightlifting – also known as resistance training – is added to the routine, since it increases calorie-burning muscle mass. The more muscle you have in your body, the more calories you’ll burn at rest, even when not exercising.
Weightlifting includes using:
Doing these tasks repeatedly builds muscle.
In the end, a combination of cardio and weightlifting is the best weight loss strategy for people with diabetes, and current guidelines from the American Diabetes Association and other national groups advise a combination for optimal health benefit.
People with diabetes should check with their doctor before beginning any exercise and/or weight loss regimen.