Lifting weights not only improves physical fitness; it may also help lower women’s risk of type 2 diabetes, according to Counsel and Heal.
In an eight-year study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers followed 99,316 middle-aged and older women who did not have diabetes at the study’s onset.
The women performed resistance exercises and lower intensity muscular conditioning exercises, such as yoga, stretching and toning.
During the study period, women who did at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity and at least 60 minutes of muscle-strengthening activities weekly had the greatest reduction of diabetes risk, compared to women who were inactive.
"The findings from our study...suggest that incorporating muscle-strengthening and conditioning activities with aerobic activity according to the current recommendation for physical activity provides substantial benefit for [diabetes] prevention in women," researchers said in a news release.
Previously, weight training had been associated with lowering diabetes risk in men. For patients with diabetes, cardio and muscle-strengthening may improve diabetic control.