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Blood sugar measuring device

How To Properly Train Clients With Diabetes

In the U.S., it’s estimated that around 37.3 million people have diabetes, and the number is steadily increasing. People can get diabetes for several reasons, and some are even hereditary. However, it’s extremely important to keep the body fit and healthy to minimize the effects of diabetes.

Personal fitness trainers who have specializations in the medical fitness field can help diabetic clients maintain their fitness without putting too much pressure on the body. But they need to follow certain steps to ensure that the client’s health isn’t jeopardized in pursuit of physical fitness. Here’s how you can train diabetic clients.

Additionally, if you’re interested in specializing in the medical fitness field, check out the medical fitness course offered by W.I.T.S. Education.

Get Clearance From A Medical Professional

People with diabetes need a medical clearance form before taking part in any physical activities. The clearance is done as a precaution to avoid harming the body further. Sometimes, these medical examinations also include several other medical issues associated with diabetes that might need more thorough attention by a personal trainer.

So as a personal trainer, you must ask for medical clearance from people before taking them on as your clients. Even after training with you, they need a periodic examination to ensure that the physical activity isn’t causing any harm to the body.

A woman doing crunches

Track Fitness Levels

For people suffering from type 2 diabetes, exercise is a great way to combat the symptoms and keep the body healthy. This is because it increases insulin sensitivity. However, exercise isn’t enough to control the disease. Clients need proper medication to keep them functioning healthily.

So you need to ensure that your clients are up to date on their medication and aren’t skipping them in favor of working out. Besides that, you need to monitor the clients’ physical fitness to ensure that there aren’t any issues. If you feel like a client isn’t showing progress even after sticking to the workout plan, you should advise them to seek help from their doctor to determine the issue.

Monitor Blood Sugar

Some exercises may cause an increase in blood sugar levels initially. The levels usually normalize after a while, and the client doesn’t need to worry about anything. But in the case that the levels don’t reduce, the client might need medical attention. So you should always measure your blood sugar levels before and after each workout to avoid any unfortunate events.

Moreover, if the client displays the same symptoms, their exercise routine needs to be changed. Usually, lighter exercises are recommended to ensure that their blood sugar levels remain low and that clients can get good results for their fitness.

Encourage After Meal Movement

Short exercise sessions will be more beneficial for diabetic clients to control blood sugar. This immediately helps the body convert the food into energy without letting it absorb into the body, and the client’s energy levels won’t decrease either. Working out with low energy levels spikes the blood sugar levels instead of lowering them.

In addition, the intensity of these short exercises can be increased depending on the meal. If the meal was rich in fats and carbohydrates, the exercise session could be longer. But if the meal consisted of salads, then the exercise session can be reduced.

Dumbbell and jump rope

Resistance Training

Resistance training is a form of lighter weight training that’s beneficial for diabetic clients and helps reduce their blood sugar levels. This happens because the exercise increases muscle sensitivity to insulin and breaks muscle fibers to generate new ones. While doing this, the body needs more glucose.

As more glucose is absorbed in the body, less insulin is required to break it down, ultimately reducing blood sugar levels. The intensity of resistance training depends on each client. If a client is fairly young, they can perform the exercise up to three days a week. But if the client is middle-aged and older, the exercise should be limited to 2 days a week with less intense training.

Some Workout Techniques


Some studies show that regular cycling at a moderate speed allows diabetic people to control their blood sugar levels. It’s generally believed that cycling only exercises the lower part of the body, but that’s not true. Cycling is a total body workout that works on the back, biceps, and leg muscles.

Light cycling doesn’t cause exhaustion in diabetic patients and still maintains a healthy muscle fiber generation rate that balances the blood sugar levels.


Aerobics exercises involve workouts that give the body quick bursts of energy. Because of these quick bursts, the body requires additional glucose to prevent muscle damage. Aerobics is recommended for diabetic clients to keep their blood sugar levels low. During these exercises, the muscle develops tears that the body repairs with new muscle fibers.

By absorbing additional glucose, the muscle fiber development process is accelerated. As a result, the body doesn’t need to break down a lot of glucose, and the blood sugar levels remain low. But trainers should be careful with aerobics exercises because too many muscle tears can cause issues with diabetic clients.

Yoga And Pilates

Yoga and Pilates are low-impact workouts that diabetic clients can do without straining their bodies too much. Like aerobics, yoga and Pilates also increase glucose absorption in the body by breaking muscle cells and generating new muscle fibers, which lowers blood sugar levels.

But compared to aerobics, yoga and Pilates don’t cause exhaustion. It also means that clients of all ages can do yoga. Doing yoga also stretches muscles and joints and offers relief to people suffering from stiff muscles and joints.

Two women working out outdoors

Do you want to learn more personal training skills? Check out W.I.T.S. Education. W.I.T.S. is a fitness training institute that offers several courses related to fitness, such as medical fitness trainer, youth fitness trainer, group exercise instructor, and many more. Their courses are accredited by the N.C.C.A. and the American Council of Education.

Moreover, they also have the largest network of universities and colleges in the U.S. W.I.T.S. offers a hybrid teaching model that includes online lectures and in-person hands-on practical labs. So hurry up, take a look at their course catalog and enroll today!