Want to slash your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes? Hit the gym. Want to slash it even more? Make sure to lift some weights while you're there.
Health experts have been promoting daily exercise for years as a great way to prevent a number of illnesses and health conditions, including Type 2 diabetes. And new research confirms this advice and gets even more specific, suggesting that the best way for women to take advantage of the health benefits of exercise in preventing Type 2 diabetes is to include twice weekly sessions of strength training to the routine.
The study, which was published recently in PLOS Medicine, tracked 100,000 female nurses over a period of eight years. Researchers found that women who engaged in at least 150 minutes a week of aerobic activity and at least an hour a week of strength training such as weight lifting, yoga, push-ups, or pull-ups, reduced their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by one-third.
Of course, like any study, this one should be taken with a grain of salt. Almost all of the women evaluated were Caucasian, so researchers don't know for sure if these results would be similar for non-white women. In addition, researchers conceded that the women who were doing the most exercise were also more likely to make other lifestyle choices — such as healthier eating — that would prevent Type 2 diabetes.
Still, this research is consistent with the results from a similar study conducted on men in 2012 that found that men who add weight training to their exercise routine could cut their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by almost 60 percent.