Fit Fact: Strength Training Can Help Stave Off Type 2 Diabetes
I talk quite a bit about the importance of strength training, which might explain why my friends run away whenever I get near them. The truth is, there are still too many people out there who don't lift weights despite my endless nagging.
The problem some people have with strength training is that the benefits can be abstract and hard to measure. Cardio comes with some built-in instant gratification. You sweat, your heart rate rises and can almost feel the calories disintegrating from your body. With strength training, you may feel the exertion while you're lifting, but the benefits take a while to see and feel. It may take weeks before you see more definition in your body and, even then, the changes aren't always as mind-blowing as you'd like.
Physical changes are important, but it really is those hard-to-measure health benefits that matter the most. Not only can strength training help you avoid losing muscle mass as you age, keep your metabolism up and make you strong, it may help you stave off type 2 diabetes.
In a recent research article, researchers analyzed data on 14,258 people from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III and found that loss of muscle was associated with insulin resistance (a precursor to type 2 diabetes) in both obese and non-obese people.
This type of study is just the impetus I need to keep nagging. Lucky you.
What about you? Has strength training, or any other type of exercise, helped you prevent diabetes or other health problems? If you're not lifting weights, does information like this motivate you to try? Leave a comment and tell us what you think.