There are many lifestyle changes you can make to lower your risk of diabetes. Of course diet is way up there at the top. But not all of them are as easy as spending a few minutes a week picking these up to bring your risk down…
Reducing your risk of diabetes is in your hands, especially if those hands are gripped around dumbbells. Research at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and University of Southern Denmark shows that as little as nine minutes a day of weight lifting can improve your odds of dodging diabetes. But more exercise is even better.
The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, also shows that performing both aerobic exercise and weight lifting provides the best protection against type 2 diabetes.
“Until now, previous studies have reported that aerobic exercise is of major importance for type 2 diabetes prevention,” says lead author Anders Grøntved at the University of Southern Denmark. “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 for type 2 diabetes prevention.”
The researchers analyzed the exercise habits of 32,002 men involved in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study over the course of 10 years, from 1990 to 2008. They found that those who spent less than an hour a week lifting weights reduced their diabetes risk by 12 percent. But those who did more than 150 minutes a week experienced a 34 percent reduction.
The most dedicated exercisers had the smallest risk of type 2 diabetes. Men who did more than 150 minutes of weekly aerobic exercise combined with at least 150 minutes of weight training had a 59 percent reduced risk.