Muscle Training May Reduce Diabetes Risk in Women

reduce diabetes riskWhile the benefits of aerobic exercise for preventing Type 2 Diabetes have been established for some time now, until recently there has been conflicting evidence as to whether weight training would improve risk factors; a new study seeking to shed light on the phenomenon was released earlier this month, highlighting that if women work out regularly, they may be able to reduce or eliminate their risk of Type 2 Diabetes and everything that comes with it—including regular trips to diabetic supply companies or sites to buy free style test strips, true track test strips, or diabetic log books. The amount of activity needed to reap the benefits is not very extreme at all, as scientists noted—and the activities have a score of benefits other than just reduced diabetes risk in women.


Researchers said in the recently-released study that in addition to aerobic exercise, weightlifting and other muscle-strengthening exercises including yoga were associated with lower levels of the disease. The authors added, however, that aerobic exercise is still important, saying “the findings from our study also suggest incorporating muscle-strengthening activities with aerobic activity according to the current recommendation for physical activity [from health authorities for 150 minutes a week] provides substantial benefit for type 2 diabetes prevention in women.”


Overall, the findings indicated that women who did at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week and at least an hour a week of muscle-strengthening exercise were a third as likely to develop diabetes as active women, independent of weight. These women would go on to be independent from the needs of blood-glucose monitoring, including the need to constantly purchase diabetes log books, free style test strips, or true track test strips. More than 370 million people worldwide have diabetes, characterized by dangerously high levels of sugar in the blood. While obesity is one of the major risk factors for developing the disease, fitness even without low weight can help to keep the disease at bay.


The researchers followed almost 100,000 women aged 36 to 81 from two ongoing health studies of nurses, for eight years. The nurses completed questionnaires about their activity levels; during the study, 3,491 women developed diabetes. While the researchers note that one of the weaknesses of the study was that the activity habits were self-reported, the results do stand up to scrutiny. There is evidence that glycemic control can be improved with muscle-strengthening activities, the researchers noted; the effect may occur in several ways, they explained.


One possibility is that because aging is associated with loss of lean body mass, building muscles may help to counteract that. Another possibility is an enhanced capacity for glucose use in the body. Of course, the results speak for themselves, even if the mechanism isn’t fully understood. If you want to avoid the need to purchase diabetic accessories such as true track test strips, free style test strips, or diabetes log books, it may be worthwhile to incorporate twenty minutes of aerobics a day and an hour per week of strength training.


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