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Does weight training reduce the risk of diabetes?

Posted in Personal Health 08 Aug, 2012

Along with the obvious benefits associated with training, results taken from a new study of more than 32,000 men published in the Archives of Internal Medicine journal, found that regular weights reduced the risk of diabetes by up to a third.

Diabetes in the UK

Diabetes affects around two million people in Britain, with a million more thought to have the disease without knowing.

Type 2 diabetes is closely linked to obesity and lifestyle occurring when the body stops responding to the blood sugar regulating hormone insulin.

Insulin acts as a key unlocking the cells, so if there is not enough insulin, or it is not working properly, the cells are only partially unlocked (or not at all) and glucose builds up in the blood. This substantially increases the risk of suffering a heart attack.

According to the Daily Mail, the World Health Organisation, has estimated that 346 million people worldwide have the disease, with the related deaths expected to double between 2005 and 2030.

Though widely known that regular exercise can prevent the disease, the type of exercise thought to do so was aerobic exercises such as running or brisk walking.

These results therefore prove significant in showing that those who find it difficult to participate in fast paced aerobics can use weight training as a means to reduce their chances of diabetes.

An alternative to aerobics

Anders Grontved, from the University of Southern Denmark who led the study stated that: "Previous studies have reported that aerobic exercise is of major importance for Type 2 diabetes prevention.

"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."

Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health in the US and the University of Southern Denmark followed the men over an 18-year period, according to the Daily Mail, during which time nearly 2,300 developed the condition.

Results taken from the study also found that found that 30 minutes of weights a day, five times a week could reduce the risk of diabetes by 34%, compared with no training.

But they also reported that even less regular exercise - up to an hour a week - had an impact, cutting the risk by 12%.

Nonetheless, aerobic exercise was still found to be slightly better with regular activity halving the risk.

The report did not however, clarify wherever or not the results would be the similar for women.


  • TomThursday, Aug 09, 2012

    I think this article will encourage men who maybe are unable to participate in strenuous activities, do light weight exercises instead, to reduce the risk of diabetes

  • JohnWednesday, Aug 08, 2012

    I am a gym addict so this article only motivates me even more

  • ClaireWednesday, Aug 08, 2012

    Its a no brainer, exercising more will reduce the risk of most diseases

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