Diabetes Risk May Be Lower in Those Who Weight Train

By Emily Murray

We all know exercise is beneficial to not only physical health but mental health as well but now there is yet another reason to hit the gym. New research has discovered that those who weight train actually help reduce their risk of developing diabetes.

While aerobic exercise has been recommended as an effective way to ward off diabetes for some time now, it’s only recently that medical professionals are beginning to acknowledge that weight training actually holds these very same benefits and when both cardio and weight training are combined, the results are even greater!

The author of the study that proved this theory is Dr. Walter Willett of the Harvard School of Public Health. He decided to test out the theory that resistance and weight training can actually have an impact on lowering diabetes risk and this was no easy task. He and his team of researchers looked at date which was compiled from a group of 32,000 men and was recorded over nearly 20 years. The original use of this information had been to include it in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study which recorded medical professionals overall health.

This large collection of data allowed researchers to see that throughout the 18-year span of the study, 2,287 men developed Type 2 diabetes. Upon further examination and the removal of many different variables, researchers concluded that those who spent at least 150 minutes each week doing aerobic exercise reduced their risk by 52%. Additionally, those who did the same amount of time weight training reduced their risk by 32%.

The reason researchers gave for the benefits of weight training in relation to diabetes risk reduction is this. Essentially the activity that takes place during weight training is enough to impact insulin receptors by improving their sensitivity. This in turn allows muscle cells to absorb glucose easier.