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Weight Lifting Decreases Diabetes Risk in Women

What better reason to hit than gym than this – weight lifting decreases the risk of diabetes in women, according to a new study in the journal of PLOS Medicine. In a report released Tuesday, researchers found that muscle strengthening is linked with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes per Bustle. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease, previously known as adult-onset diabetes, characterized by high sugar levels in the blood.

Weight Lifting Decreases Diabetes Risk in Women

Image courtesy of Wikimedia

It has already been discovered that cardio can lower the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, and previous studies have already discovered that muscle strengthening can improve conditions in people who already have diabetes. Don’t skip your morning jogs just yet – according to the study, combining 150 minutes of aerobic activities with a muscle workout for at least an hour a week cuts odds of developing diabetes by at least a third.

If you are not partial to lifting weights or strength-training exercises, lower-intensity activities such as yoga has also been shown to decrease diabetes in women as well.

The study followed approximately 100,000 U.S. nurses ranging in age from 24 to 55 over the span of eight years. During that timeframe, 3,491 of those women ended up developing diabetes. After taking into consideration factors such as family history and diet, researchers found that women who weight lifting decreased their Type 2 diabetes risk by a staggering 40 percent.

Weight lifting decreases the risk of diabetes by acting as a buffer due to an increase in body mass, and it may also increase a person’s capacity for glucose utilization. The study’s results may not necessarily apply to everyone.  One problem? The author’s state nearly all the women who participated in the study were of European descent, meaning that not all ethnic groups were taken into account.

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