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Weight Training Is Better At Lowering Diabetes Risk Than Cardio Exercise

For years physicians and health experts have been telling us that exercise plays an essential role in offsetting the risk of diabets.

However, recent research is showing us that not all exercise will have the same effect at lowering risk.

Up until now the majority of studies were focused on the impacts of aerobic exercise and reduced risk of diabetes. This led health experts to primarily prescribe aerobic exercise like walking for individuals who were pre-diabetic or suffering from insulin resistance.

While certainly a good starting point for improved health, it appears resistance training may be even more effective at lowering risk of diabetes.

A study conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health examined this very issue.

More after the jump…

Here’s an excerpt from the story as reported on in Fox News.

Weight training, not just cardio workouts, are linked to a lower risk of developing diabetes, according to a new study.

“We all know that aerobic exercise is beneficial for diabetes – many studies have looked at that – but no studies have looked at weight training,” said Dr. Frank Hu of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.

“This study suggests weight training is important for diabetes, and probably as important as aerobic training,” he told Reuters Health.

Hu and his colleagues used data on more than 32,000 male health professionals, who answered questionnaires every two years from 1990 to 2008.

On average, four out of 1,000 men developed type 2 diabetes every year, the researchers found. Their report is published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The risk of getting the blood sugar disorder was only half as high for men who did cardio, or aerobic, workouts – say, brisk walking, jogging or playing tennis – at least 150 minutes a week as for those who didn’t do any cardio exercise.

Men who did weight training for 150 minutes or more had a risk reduction of a third compared to those who never lifted weights – independently of whether or not they did aerobic exercise.

Whereas weight training increases muscle mass and can reduce abdominal obesity, it tends not to cut overall body mass, said Hu. Go to article

One of the things I suspect is a major contributing factor to resistance exercise helping to lower risk of diabetes (that the report didn’t touch on) is the impact on insulin sensitivity.

Weight training helps to improve insulin sensitivity much better than aerobic exercise because it directly impacts metabolically active lean muscle.

Curing diabetes is not that cheap, so there are numerous receptor sites for insulin within muscle tissue and physiological changes in the muscle helps to improve insulin sensitivity.

Bottom line is you’ll want to do both cardiovascular exercise and resistance training in part of a balanced exercise routine. If you had to choose one out of time considerations, a resistance training program with progressive intensity will provide more benefits overall, all things considered.

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Shane Doll is a certified Charleston fitness trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts. With a staff of over 10 certified fitness professionals, Shaping Concepts provides personal fitness programs with a specialty on weight loss and body transformation. Sign up for a FREE, no-obligations consultation today.

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