Yes, of course! The majority of people who develop type 2 diabetes have pre-diabetes; that is, their blood sugars are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. Fortunately, pre-diabetes can be reversed with strength training, cardiovascular activities, weight loss and dietary changes.
Those with type 2 diabetes or at risk of developing it can benefit greatly from strength training. In addition to strength training, aerobic exercise can also help prevent or manage type 2 diabetes, but not everyone is able to partake in them. There is no alternative to strength training in this situation. In the past, cardiovascular training was used to improve your metabolic profile, but strength training has gained popularity in recent years since it improves glycemic control, increases muscular strength, maintains or improves bone density, and prevents osteoporosis in addition to improving metabolic profile.
It has been shown that muscle contractions reduce blood glucose levels and increase insulin sensitivity for up to 24 hours after strength training. By increasing glucose use, strength training allows glucose to be transported from the blood into the muscle, where it provides energy and can be stored as glycogen.
Since glucose response is specific to muscle contractions, it is recommended to focus on exercises that engage multiple muscle groups and/or larger muscles. Exercises with multiple joints such as a bench press, deadlift and squat are preferred to those with single joints such as bicep curls and lateral raises.
Strength training for the entire body has been shown to improve glucose clearance and insulin sensitivity in both young and aging adults.
As type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance become more prevalent, strength training has become increasingly important to keep our bodies healthy and fit. Strength training or cardiovascular training alone can improve glycemic control in type 2 diabetes, but improvements are greatest when both are combined.