A type two diabetes diagnosis can be overwhelming and frightening to say the least. Along with the news that you are hard pressed for insulin, you are told that ‘all it takes’ for a possibility of remission is a complete overhaul to your lifestyle. What does that all mean? It means your diet and exercise routine will most probably have to be completely changed.
We spoke to celebrity trainer and body building expert Bobby Strom about what it would take for someone who is overweight and has diabetes to start exercising regularly. There’s good news, it’s all possible as long as you take it one day at a time.
“Everyone is an individual,” says Strom. “It’s case by case. I train people according to their goals. And I start them slow.” Starting slow is important, but it’s only the start when it comes to the training routine that Strom prefers. Strom usually starts his first time clients on a circuit routine that includes a little bit of cardio as well as weight training. “I like to do circuit and opposing muscle groups,” Strom says. “You do five exercises and then hit cardio for three minutes. Do five exercises then hit the bicycle. Do five exercises then hit the treadmill. Do five exercises then hit the rowing machine. And then as you go along and as their conditioning improves, you can go faster and faster.”
Once they build up their strength to keep a fast pace, it becomes time to shorten the rest time in between circuits. “In the beginning you might have a two minute rest in between sets,” says Strom. “Or maybe even a three minute rest, then two minute, then it goes down to one minute, then a 30 second rest as they progress.” So by the end, you will be conditioned for a full hour workout at full capacity.
Strom makes it clear though, that exercise is not the only change you need and your diet makes a lot of the difference. Though for people who are healthy, you don’t need to do both at your highest capacity, it’s a little different for someone with type II diabetes. “For most people it’s ok if both your diet and exercise routine aren’t perfect. Not everyone can give 100% in both areas,” says Strom. “If you did over 50% better in your nutrition, you’re going to get results. Just 50%! And it may be something as simple as stop drinking soda. I’ve seen it! I’ve seen someone drop 10 pounds in 3 weeks and they were not anybody that you would say was overweight at all. But it’s very different for someone with Type II diabetes. There is a little more importance placed on diet. When your are talking about lowering your Hemoglobin A1c level you have to be 100% on point. Nutrition is everything! You have a danger range of 5.7 to 6.3 once you hit 6.4 you’re diabetic and will need insulin injections. This is vital and can’t be overlooked. ”
It’s a new years resolution in the making. As many of us know, seeing a new years resolution through is not easy. According to Strom though, you have the best odds of staying with it if you have manageable expectations. “You have to be realistic,” says Strom. “Everybody comes to me and says, ‘You train Reynolds?! I want to look like Ryan Reynolds!’ And I’ll be like ‘You’re 5’3”! Ryan’s 6’2”, c’mon!’ It’s okay to have a picture of Ryan from Blade and he’s all shredded as motivation. But our bodies just do not work that way, they evolve from way back. So things don’t work with ‘push enter’ and all of a sudden I look like my favorite celebrity or athlete. If you’re that person that’s going to really give it three weeks and quit, everything in your life is going to be failure. I’m being harsh on you, but it’s true. Nothing happens overnight. Any goal you want, you have to work for it.”