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The Role of Muscle in Preventing Diabetes

April 23, 2019

We all know that a sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of obesity in conditions such as type II diabetes. We’ve been told that spending a certain number of minutes or hours getting our heart rate up is beneficial and prevents cardiovascular disease. However, there’s always been some debate as to what form of exercises best. A recent study1 of over 4000 adults without diabetes, published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, sought to find out if building muscle through strength training reduces the risk of type II diabetes. The answer was a very clear yes, by 32% in fact. People who maintained moderate muscle strength and participated consistently in resistance exercises showed a lower risk of type II diabetes regardless of their cardio fitness. Interestingly, moderate muscle mass was sufficient and increasing muscle mass did not have a significant benefit. The results were adjusted for variables including age, sex, and weight.