A new study has shown that building muscle strength may help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
The research was done by researchers from Iowa State University.
Previously, scientists had found that about 30 million Americans have diabetes. Among them, more than 90% of people have type 2 diabetes.
Recent studies also showed that resistance training improves blood sugar levels and reduces waist circumference.
Resistance training can help prevent obesity, which is a big risk factor of type 2 diabetes.
In the present study, the researchers examined more than 4,500 adults with age from 20 to 100 years old.
Participants completed chest and leg presses to measure their muscle strength
They found moderate muscle mass linked to 32% of the lower risk for type 2 diabetes. In addition, moderate muscle mass could help improve cardiorespiratory fitness.
In addition, the effect of moderate strength on the risk of type 2 diabetes is independent of lifestyle habits such as smoking and drinking, or health issues such as obesity and high blood pressure.
The team also found higher muscle strength did not provide additional protection.
The results suggest that even small sessions of exercise, especially resistance training, may help prevent type 2 diabetes.
Resistance training is not the best way to lose weight, but it can bring many health benefits.
It may help lower the risk for type 2 diabetes, and strong muscles are very important for staying functional and independent when people get older.
Currently, only about 20% of people meet the guidelines for resistance training. It is easy to start resistance training at home. For example, people can do push-ups and walk the stairs.
The authors also warn that there are no standardized measurements for muscle strength, so it is hard to recommend an optimal level of muscle strength to prevent diabetes.
Future work needs to solve the problem and determine the proper dose of resistance exercise that can help lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. The dose may be different for people with health conditions.
The study is one of the first to examine the risk of type 2 diabetes and muscle strength.
The study senior author is DC (Duck-chul) Lee, associate professor of kinesiology at Iowa State University.
The research is published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
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