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Sheri Colberg Part 5, Balancing Types of Exercise

In part 5 of this Exclusive Interview, Sheri Colberg talks with Diabetes in Control Publisher Steve Freed during the ADA meeting in San Diego, California about how much exercise to do and for how long, especially to benefit blood glucose numbers.

Sheri Colberg, PhD, FACSM is Professor Emerita of Exercise Science at Old Dominion University in Virginia and a member of the Diabetes in Control Advisory Board.

Transcript of this video segment:

Steve Freed — So, if you gotta exercise, aerobic certainly is good exercise. Anaerobic exercise and resistance training is good exercise. Do we know what percentage we should be doing of each? Everybody’s different obviously, but in general, do we have a percentage that we find that works best, specially for lowering blood sugars?

Sheri Colberg — Well, think of it this way. When it comes to aerobic or cardio training, you’re as good as your last workout. So if the effects of that are going to lower your blood glucose for maybe two to 72 hours max, you know, probably no more than 24 for most people, then you almost have to exercise daily or at least every other day with your cardio training. With your resistance training, the effect is more that you’re building muscle and in order to build muscle, the muscle needs time to repair after you break it down. So when you walk out of doing your resistance training, you’re weaker right then because you actually just destroyed muscle that now has to repair. When it builds back, it gets stronger and the recommendation for that is 2 to 3 non-consecutive days per week so that you have time to repair and recover in between the workouts. You can do a combination of those things, but the resistance training is going to have a longer lasting effects simply because you’ve built muscle and that muscles’ not going to go away in that to 2- to 72-hour period. It could couple weeks of de-training before you lose it. So you’re actually getting two different types of benefits from each of those types of training and they have shown that combining the two is actually better for glucose control, at least in people with type 2 diabetes so I would say aim do cardio at least 5 or 6 days a week or minimum at least every other day and add resistance training at least two days per week, but preferably 3, non-consecutive days

Steve Freed — How much time for each would you give for each if time was not an issue, as everybody says, “I don’t have time”?

Sheri Colberg — Well, it is interesting because now a lot of research has looked at what happen if you do your cardio training 5 minutes here, 5 minutes there. It all adds up and in the end, in terms of the glucose maintenance and weight control, it may be equally effective to do it in shorter bouts, so 10 minutes, we have time here. When you’re breaking up your sedentary time, you get up, you walk around for three minutes. You do that every hour or 30 minutes. That adds up to your 30 minutes during the course of the day and you didn’t actually break a sweat or have to go out on a planned walk. You’re just doing your little activities during the day and that actually works pretty well as far as handling blood glucose, preventing some of those post-meal spikes. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way to do it. I think that the idea is to fit it in however you can do it. For the resistance training, maybe 15 to 30 minutes. It really depends on the exercises that you choose to do. If you try to do 8 to 10 different exercises, that may take you 20 minutes. if you do multiple sets, it could take you longer. Doing any of it it’s better than doing none of it. You can gain strength from just doing one set 1 time a week.

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