Muscle-strengthening exercises along with a cardio workout can lower diabetes type-2 risk in women, a new study suggests.
The study, conducted by researchers from Harvard School of Public Health and their colleagues, looked at data from 99, 316 middle-aged women. All the participants were part of the Nurses’ Health Study ([NHS] 2000-2008) and Nurses’ Health Study II ([NHSII] 2001-2009) and didn’t suffer from diabetes at the beginning of the study.
In the U.S., the number of people being diagnosed with diabetes has increased from 5.6 million in 1980 to 26.9 million in 2010. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, by 2050, 1 in 3 American adults will have diabetes. Many health experts already advise people to engage in some form of physical activity to lower diabetes risk. However, the effects of weight lifting on diabetes risk in women weren’t known.
Now, researchers at Harvard School of Public Health and University of Southern Denmark found that women who took part in 150 minutes of aerobic activity and at least an hour of muscle-strengthening activities had lower risk of diabetes than other women, BBC reported.
Both resistance exercise and lower intensity muscular conditioning exercises were independently associated with lower risk of diabetes, according to a news release.
“The findings from our study…suggest that incorporating muscle-strengthening and conditioning activities with aerobic activity according to the current recommendation for physical activity provides substantial benefit for [diabetes] prevention in women,” the study authors said.
According to the researchers, women who exercised moderately, too, had lower diabetes type-2 risk when compared to women who had a sedentary lifestyle.
“We know for certain that the best way to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes is to maintain a healthy weight by eating a healthy, balanced diet and by taking regular physical activity. At this time of year, many people are looking for an easy way to lose weight and be more physically active. We recommend finding an activity you enjoy as you are more likely to stick with it and stay motivated,” Dr Richard Elliott, spokesman for Diabetes UK, told BBC.
Read more: Nature World News