Get Fit, Get in Control: Outdoor Exercises for the Upper Body

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May is National Exercise Month. Throughout the month the Joslin Blog will be highlighting stories about exercising with diabetes. Be sure to check in each week for updates! This article was originally published on May 18, 2015. 

People with diabetes who perform resistance training strengthen their muscles. This results in a higher metabolism and more calories burnt, improving insulin sensitivity (glycemic control), helping with weight loss, and may reduce the amount of diabetes medications you take, according to Jacqueline Shahar, M.Ed., RCEP, CDE, a certified diabetes educator and manager of exercise physiology in the Joslin Clinic.

In this video, Jackie takes you through an outdoor exercise routine using resistance bands. You can place the resistance band around a tree, a bench, on any heavy exercise equipment, or you can use a door anchor and do these exercises in any room in your house.

Start with 2 sets of 15 reps two to three times per week, and increase as you get stronger.

Chest Press
Chest, shoulders, triceps

1. Face away from anchor with palms facing down and knees slightly bent
2. Press arms forward in a ciricle motion
3. Slowly return back

Row
Upper back, biceps, shoulder

1. Make sure band is even
2. Grab ends of band with palms facing down
3. Squeeze shoulders and draw elbows back, keeping arms parallel to the ground
4. To vary this exercise, you can do it with your thumbs facing up, so your fists are perpendicular to the floor

Lat Pull Down
Core msucles, back

1. Place band a little higher
2. Palms facing down knees slightly bent
3. Pull band down to either side of your body, keeping arms straight
4. Slowly bring arms back to front
5. Engage your core muscles throughout for added benefits

Triceps Extension
Triceps, core

1. Thumbs facing up and elbows close to waist, knees slightly bent
2. Turn palms down and extend arms down on either side of body
3. Slowly return to front
4. Make sure elbows don’t move forward during exercise
5. Engage core muscles for added benefit

Basic Exercise Instructions
• Proper form is the most important element for safe and effective resistance training. You will be able to minimize injuries and strains and ensure that the muscle you are targeting is the one you are actually working if you use the proper form.

• Breathing throughout the exercise is important aspect of proper form. As a rule of thumb, exhale during exertion. You should not hold your breath during exercise. Your muscles need oxygen to work properly.

• Exercising when you are fatigued is another easy way to get sloppy with your form. When you are tired, it’s much harder to maintain proper technique and stay focused. Mental fatigue can put you at risk.

• Always check your blood glucose before and after exercise and speak with your health care provider on glucose management with exercise.

• View the video at least once to learn the proper exercise form, before performing any of the exercises. Start with low resistance band and slowly increase sets and reps and frequency of exercises. Over time, as you get stronger, you can transition to moderate resistance band.

• Working with high resistance band for you is a set-up for injury. If you can’t maintain proper form while doing the exercise, the resistance of the band is too high. The same would apply if you use free weights or resistance machines in the gym.

• If you feel discomfort with any exercise, you should discontinue performing the specific exercise.

• Listen to your body and work at your degree. Do not push yourself over the limit to avoid injury.

**Not all exercise plans are suitable for everyone. Some exercises may result in injury.

**Discontinue exercise immediately if you feel faint, pain, shortness of breath, severe discomfort and consult a medical expert.

The instruction and advice presented in this video are in no way intended as a substitute for medical counseling.

Do you need help with your exercise routine? Learn more aboutJoslin’s Exercise Physiologists.exericse bands

2 Responses to Get Fit, Get in Control: Outdoor Exercises for the Upper Body

  1. Bambang Harymurti says:

    I do push ups plus using chest expander and legs exercises. Is this good for a prediabetic like me? What is the best time to exercise? Morning or evening? Thanks. Bambang

  2. Jim Gallagher says:

    This is one area I need to improve – exercise!

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