In a new study from Oakland University, researchers used data from medical studies around the world to examine the impact of resistance training on type 2 diabetes risk.
They found that resistance training such as weight lifting and resistance band exercise can help control blood sugar and blood lipid (LDL, HDL and Triglycerides) levels, two of the most prominent risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
Previous studies have shown that resistance training is effective for controlling glycemic (blood sugar) and blood lipid levels in adults who already have type 2 diabetes.
This research showed that resistance training is also useful for controlling those same variables, in addition to reducing body fat, in people who are at risk for developing the disease.
In the study, the team used data from clinical trials that tracked cardio-metabolic outcomes in adults with type 2 diabetes risk, comparing those who underwent a resistance training intervention with those who did not.
They showed that resistance training, when performed over a period of at least 12 weeks, is effective in lowering blood sugar, body fat and blood lipids in adults who are at risk for type 2 diabetes.
The best improvements in cardio-metabolic outcomes for patients at risk for type 2 diabetes had specific training parameters—namely the use of free weights or resistance bands at intensities above 60% one-repetition maximum, with 10 to 15 repetitions at a time.
This means an individual is using an intensity that is above 60% of the maximum amount of resistance they can move through an appropriate range of motion for one repetition using the correct technique.
These findings have implications for type 2 diabetes prevention efforts. If people can prevent the disease, they can avoid the health complications and costs associated with it.
The complications are many and varied. They include nerve, kidney and vision problems, along with increased risk for cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death globally.
Moreover, type 2 diabetes affects over 400 million people worldwide and has an estimated annual global cost of $1.3 trillion.
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The study is published in the journal Sports Medicine. One author of the study is Raza Qadir.
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