About 34 million Americans are living with diabetes in the U.S., and more than one in three adults in the U.S. are pre-diabetic, or on the verge of developing diabetes. About 70% of them will go on to develop Type 2 diabetes.
If left untreated, diabetes can lead to complications such as heart disease, nerve damage, kidney failure, blindness, and even amputations. But lifestyle changes can reduce your diabetes risk, and one particular exercise can provide some of the greatest benefits.
New research from the University of Michigan has found strength training is an effective way to reduce diabetes risk. Exercises using resistance bands or free weights aids in weight loss and also in regulating blood sugar.
“If you’re not exercising and you’re gaining weight, your insulin needs don’t stay the same,” explained diabetic Kathleen Gagnier.
In the study, researchers found risk was significantly lower for those who stuck with the training for at least 12 weeks.
If you are a beginner to strength training, start small. Try exercises such as dumbbell deadlifts, Russian twists, and tricep dips and use lighter weights. Slowly work your way up to more weight as you get stronger.
A Mayo Clinic study has shown strength training can reduce someone’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by as much as 32%. Studies have also shown that strength training can benefit those who have Type 1 diabetes, too.