Aug 7 Weight training, and not just cardio
workouts, is linked to a lower risk of developing diabetes,
according to a U.S. study.
"We all know that aerobic exercise is beneficial for
diabetes - many studies have looked at that - but no studies
have looked at weight training," said study leader Frank Hu, at
the Harvard School of Public Health.
"This study suggests that weight training is important for
diabetes, and probably as important as aerobic training."
Hu and his colleagues, whose report was published in the
Archives of Internal Medicine, used data on more than 32,000
male health professionals, who answered questionnaires every two
years from 1990 to 2008.
On average, four out of 1,000 men developed type 2 diabetes
every year, the researchers found.
The risk of getting the blood sugar disorder was only half
as high for men who did cardio, or aerobic, workouts - say brisk
walking, jogging or playing tennis - at least 150 minutes a
week, as for those who didn't do any cardio exercise.
Men who did weight training for 150 minutes or more had a
risk reduction of a third compared to those who never lifted
weights, independently of whether or not they did aerobic
Whereas weight training increases muscle mass and can reduce
abdominal obesity, it tends not to cut overall body mass, said
The results don't prove that working out staves off
diabetes, because many men who stay fit may also be healthier in
other ways, but the researchers did their best to account for
such potential differences, including age, smoking and diet.
"I think the benefits of weight training are real," said Hu.
"Any type of exercise is beneficial for diabetes prevention, but
weight training can be incorporated with aerobic exercise to get
the best results."
Along with an appropriate diet, exercise is also important
for people who already have diabetes and can help control high
blood sugar, he added.
(Reporting from New York by Frederik Joelving, editing by