Saturday, September 2, 2017

How Singapore Can Solve Our Diabetes Problem

In our National Day Rally, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong highlighted that 1 in 9 Singaporeans has diabetes. And of these, an average of 1200 undergo amputations every year!

I was quite shocked at the sobering figures that he cited. Three in 10 Singaporeans above the age of 60 have diabetes. If you break in down by race, 2.5 in 10 Chinese over 60 have diabetes, half of Malays over 60 years old and six in 10 Indians over 60 are affected.

PM Lee then urged Singaporeans to get regular medical check ups to know if they are diabetic or are at risk and suggested solutions to counter it. He then recommended that Singaporeans exercise more, suggesting that the easiest way to do so is "just walk  a little bit more every day".

If possible, I would definitely suggest including weight training (also known as strength training or resistance training).

In case you think weight training is only for bodybuilders pumping iron for beefy biceps and bulging pecs, current evidence shows that weight training - whether with a light dumbbell or your own body weight may be the best exercise for lifelong overall function and fitness.

Here's what most important. Research has shown that weight training helps with improved insulin sensitivity among people with diabetes and pre diabetes. Twice weekly weight training sessions helped control insulin swings (and body weight) among older men with type-2 diabetes.

During weight training, our muscles are rapidly using glucose (or blood sugar). This energy consumption continues even after you finish your strength training session. This is especially beneficial for anyone at risk for metabolic conditions like Type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and unhealthy cholesterol levels making weight training the most effective remedy.

In addition, weight training can strengthen our bones and improve our posture through bone remodeling. Weight training stimulates the osteoblasts (bone building cells) to build more bone. Weight training is also superior to aerobic exercise for enhancing and maintaining total body bone strength. And that's probably another post.

That's why I bought a Olympic bar, squat rack and got some free weights earlier this year as I realize I was losing muscle mass.
Showing my boy how it's done


Ibanez J, Izquierdo M et al (2005). Twice-Weekly Progressive Resistance Training Decreases Abdominal Fat And Improves Insulin Sensitivity In Older Men With Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care. 28(3): 662-667. DOI: 10.2337/diacare.28.3.662.

1 comment:

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