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If you’ve noticed your blood sugar creeping up at your last few doctor’s appointments, diabetes prevention is probably at the top of your mind. Maybe you’ve started eating better and exercising more to shed pounds and keep that high blood sugar down.
If you have, good for you. Weight loss is the best starting point in almost every type 2 diabetes prevention plan. But if you’re serious about maintaining balanced blood sugar, you’ll need to focus on more than just the number on the scale. You’ll need to look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself a serious question…
“How big are my biceps?”
And while you’re at it, look at your quads, glutes, triceps, and delts. Because new research shows that losing pounds isn’t the only way to manage blood sugar. Gaining muscle does the trick too.
Muscle strength makes a big difference in diabetes risk
Researchers from Iowa State University recently found that maintaining moderate muscle mass lowers type 2 diabetes risk by 32 percent.
The study included data 4,681 people between 20 and 100 years old. They all completed an initial muscle strength test that involved leg and bench presses, and then a follow-up test a little over eight years later.
When researchers followed up with study participants, 229 of them had developed type 2 diabetes. But those who had moderate muscle strength at the start of the study were 32 percent less likely to be among them.
Researchers confirmed that this improvement had nothing to do with cardiorespiratory fitness, which also has blood sugar benefits. It also held true regardless of lifestyle choices and health issues like smoking, drinking, obesity, and high blood pressure. So, muscle strength alone really does make a difference in diabetes.
Let the muscle-building begin!
You already know that most Americans aren’t getting enough exercise. But that’s especially true when it comes to muscle-building exercise. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that you perform muscle-strengthening activities at least two days per week. And only 20 percent of us meet this requirement.
A lot of people don’t do strength-training because they think it involves lifting weights in a gym. But it doesn’t have to. In fact, if you’re just getting started with weight training exercises, it’s probably better to use body-weight exercises, like:
- Calf raises
- Glute bridges
- Donkey kicks
So, keep those muscles working! Try these bodyweight exercises or commit to a strength-building exercise routine that builds strength like ashtanga yoga or Pilates. Get your cardio and keep eating healthy too, of course. If you do, you’ll pass your next blood sugar test with flying colors.
Editor’s note: The truth is there are lots of proven and effective natural and alternative ways to turn type 2 diabetes around. And you can find them in Forbidden Secrets From Nature’s Pharmacy to Reverse Diabetes and Blood Sugar Problems! For a preview, click here!
- Moderate muscle strength may lower risk for type 2 diabetes — MedicalXpress
- Association of Muscular Strength and Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes — Mayo Clinic Proceedings
- Understanding Muscular Strength— VeryWell Fit