Could weightlifting improve diabetics’ blood sugar? |

Could weightlifting improve diabetics’ blood sugar?

Kathryn Corazzelli
Summit Daily News

Woman lifting dumbbells

A new workout group for diabetics is testing out a theory that lifting weights helps manage the disease.

The new group, sponsored by the Summit Community Care Clinic, will meet every Wednesday at Elevation Fitness in Dillon. Participants will follow recommendations from the book “Body by Science,” which says low-frequency weight training can help improve insulin sensitivity.

“They’ve found that by doing this series of weightlifting workouts, it works for diabetics,” said naturopathic doctor and care clinic staff Jannine Walldan, who will be helping the group with nutrition and blood sugar advice.

The book’s authors – exercise scientist Doug McGuff and weight-training professional John Little – say that by lifting slowly, a diabetic’s hemoglobin A1c levels (a marker physicians use to measure blood glucose) are actually lowered, Walldan said.

Workout participants will provide their levels from beforehand, then have them re-tested three months later to see if there’s any change. Walldan will also be looking at blood sugar levels after each workout, and participants’ daily logs of measurements to see if there’s a pattern.

If the short, 15-minute weekly workout doesn’t seem to be affecting glucose levels, then the meetings will be “switched up,” maybe with an added weight-lifting session or some cardio, Walldan said.

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The workouts will be led by Elevation owner Doug Roessel.

The care clinic already has two support groups for diabetics, one for Spanish speakers and another for English. While the outward purpose of the new exercise group is to hopefully improve blood sugar levels, Walldan also hopes it’ll provide another social outlet, and maybe lead to other ventures like group hikes.

“It’s always good to have people to work out with that understand your personal needs as a diabetic,” Walldan said. “We just want to get everyone together.”

To join, and for more information, contact Walldan at, or call Elevation Fitness at (970) 468-7597.

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