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08 Aug 2012
Weightlifting 'reduces mens diabetes risk'
Pumping weights five times a week can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by a third, The Daily Telegraph has reported.
The news is based on the results of a large US study which found that men who performed weight training reduced their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Previous research has shown that regular moderate or vigorous physical activity for at least 30 minutes per day reduces risk of type 2. The authors of the study also report that other studies have shown that resistance training can improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes. This is the first significant piece of research that has also found a link between weight training and a reduce risk of actually developing diabetes.
This study found that at least 150 minutes of weight training a week reduced the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by just under one third (34%). Performing at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise a week (such as brisk walking, jogging, running, cycling, swimming, tennis, squash and rowing) reduced risk to a slightly greater extent (52%). The greatest risk reduction was observed with performing a combination of both weight training and aerobic exercise (59%).
Regular exercise, in addition to other healthy lifestyle behaviours, is the best way to reduce the risk of many chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes. This study supports general health advice, finding that weight training or aerobic exercise reduce risk of type 2 diabetes in professional men. Weight lifting may be a useful exercise addition, or alternative, for people who have difficulty in performing aerobic exercise, though with all forms of exercise it is advisable to exercise within your own limits. The key thing is to take regular exercise weight lifting may not be the best form of exercise for everyone.
For more on this see the NHS Choices website.