To Your Health
March, 2019 (Vol. 13, Issue 03)
Strength Is Your Ally Against Diabetes - and It Doesn't Take Much
By Editorial Staff
Type 2 diabetes is no laughing matter, but that doesn't seem to be motivation enough for many Americans. The unhappy truth: According to the American Diabetes Association, 1.5 million adults are diagnosed with diabetes every year and nearly 100,000 die, making it the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. Like we said, no laughing matter.
Consistent exercise and sound nutrition are two of the hallmarks of diabetes management and prevention. Let's take a look at the exercise side of the equation, particularly a study in Mayo Clinic Proceedings that links strength with diabetes risk. Researchers discovered that subjects with moderate upper- and lower-body muscle strength, assessed using resistance weight machines, had a significantly lower risk of diabetes than people with less muscle strength.
Interestingly, there was no greater association between the highest level of muscle strength compared to the lowest level; in other words, you don't need to be a bodybuilder to reap the protective benefits of muscle strength against diabetes. The study group in the middle level of muscle strength had a 32 percent lower risk compared to the lower third.
Keep in mind that cardiorespiratory fitness (also assessed in the study via treadmill tests) is also associated with reduced diabetes risk, a factor the researchers evaluated in order to ensure the diabetes risk reduction was due to muscle strength alone. However, it points to the power of exercise in all forms as a great way to reduce diabetes risk and the horrific health consequences that can result.