Type 2 diabetes is one of the biggest health problems of today. In addition to proper nutrition, according to a recent study, physical activity can also be used to prevent it. Strength training should reduce the risk of diabetes.
Not only diabetes, but also prediabetes is now a huge problem, because a sugary and unhealthy diet leads to more and more people becoming ill worldwide.
Prediabetes is a disease that is characterized by elevated blood sugar levels and typically precedes a type 2 diabetes diagnosis – and very few people affected know about it.
Combating the massive blood sugar problem worldwide will be an important task in the future. The difficulty is that many people feel overwhelmed when they have to change their diet and lifestyle.
A study that has shown that even very short weight training can already help prevent diabetes gives new hope.
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Long-term study with over 4,000 participants
For the study, which was published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings journal , the researchers collected data from 4,681 adults with no known blood sugar problems.
During the entire study period, i.e. a little more than 20 years, the participants went through muscle strength tests (to assess upper and lower body strength) and running training tests (to assess cardiovascular fitness). There were also regular diabetes screenings.
By the end of the study, 299 participants had developed diabetes.
Weight training prevents diabetes
The researchers divided the test subjects into three groups based on the muscle test results: one with high, one with medium and one with low muscle strength.
When analyzing the data, they found that participants in the middle group had a 32 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to participants with low muscle strength.
This finding is unique so far, as the authors emphasize: “This is the first study to examine the relationship between muscle strength and the risk of developing diabetes later,” it says.
It doesn’t have to be Crossfit
Interestingly, there was no significant difference in diabetes risk in the study when comparing the data from the group with the highest muscle strength to that from the weakest participants.
What does that mean exactly? It means that you don’t have to be signed up in a Crossfit studio or put on a body like a bodybuilder to lower your risk of diabetes.
Quite the contrary: According to the results, such an excessive workout routine would even be less effective than moderate training.