Regular weightlifting may help men avoid Type 2 diabetes altogether, a new study has found.
And another, smaller study concluded that people of either gender who were already diabetic but who exercised regularly could sharply reduce their risk of diabetes-related death.
The two analyses were published in the “Archives of Internal Medicine.”
The larger study, which covered 32,000 men, also found that if people followed a weight training regimen, there was no need for aerobic exercise. Lead author Anders Grontved, who conducted the study at Harvard University School of Public Health (HSPH), said in a statement, “Until now, previous studies have reported that aerobic exercise is of major importance for type 2 diabetes prevention…But many people have difficulty engaging in or adhering to aerobic exercise. These new results suggest that weight training, to a large extent, can serve as an alternative to aerobic exercise.”
Even a modest amount of weightlifting can have big benefits. The Harvard researchers analyzed men who did between 1 minute and 59 minutes of weight training per week, as well as those who did workouts of between 60 and 149 minutes, and 150 minutes and above. The subjects’ risk of getting diabetes was reduced, respectively, by 12 percent, 25 percent and 34 percent.
Senior author Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at HSPH, said, though, that a program of exercise was best when it combined weight training with aerobic activity.
In a smaller study of 6,000 people who already had researchers at the German Institute of Human Nutrition, could substantially reduce their risk of death by regular exercise even if their physical activity was moderate.
Researchers examined twelve studies and found that an exercise program incorporating walking and leisure-time activities like gardening substantially reduced the patients’ risk of death.
The authors of the German Institute of Human Nutrition study said further research was needed to determine why diabetics don’t engage in activities that could prolong their life.
Free Diabetic Recipe Book
Get your free meal guide and recipe booklet today, packed with more than 60 recipes to help you or your loved ones better manage diabetes symptoms.
Click here to get yours!