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Lifting Weights Could Lower Risk of Diabetes in Women

Lifting Weights Could Lower Risk of Diabetes in Women

As the rates of people suffering from diabetes continue to rise in the U.S., millions of Americans find themselves in a daily battle trying to control their blood sugar levels. Your dentist in Castle Rock wants patients to know that poor oral health has been shown to increase your risk of diabetes.

Approximately 26 million American suffer from diabetes, according to the National Institutes of Health, with the disease afflicting nearly 12 percent of all adult males and 11 percent of women over the age of 20. While these numbers represent a dramatic increase in the number of people who have been diagnosed with diabetes over the last 60 years- jumping form 1.8 million in 1958 to nearly 19 million in 2010 – the number of American battling the disease has increased by 32 percent this decade alone.

Considering that an estimated 79 million adults suffer from prediabetes – a condition where blood sugar levels fall just below those of diabetes – and the foreseeable future seems certain to have even higher rates of the disease.

For years, health experts have been lobbying for people to take the initiative and lower their risk of diabetes before the disease strikes. Now, the results of a new study offers another possible solution that could help millions of women lower their risk of diabetes.

According to researchers, women who exercise with weights at least one hour a week can cut their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The study also found that women who practice yoga or other stretching exercises could also dramatically lower their risk as well.

The results of this study were published in the journal PLOS Medicine.

Exercise Still the Key

Health experts have long known that patients who engage in regular exercise greatly reduce their risk for both obesity and diabetes. However, until now, the exercise most recommended by doctors was some form of aerobics like brisk walking or jogging.

This recent study now suggests that weight training and other form of nonaerobic exercise may also prove equally beneficial for women worried about their risk of diabetes.

Using data collected from Harvard School of Public Health’s massive ongoing Nurses Health Studies, researchers surveyed nearly 100,000 women in their 30s, 40s and 50s about their exercise habits between the years 2000 and 2005. Researchers then looked to see how many of the women surveyed had developed Type 2 diabetes by 2009.

They discovered that women who participated in muscle-strengthening and conditioning exercises had a lower risk of diabetes, even if they didn’t perform any kind of aerobic exercise. Researchers concluded that for every 60-minute period of activity a woman participated in during the week, she reduced her risk of diabetes by nearly 14 percent.

Women who engaged in conditioning and muscle-strengthening exercises for more than 10 minutes a week lowered their risk of diabetes by 40 percent.

What most surprised researchers was that yoga and other supposedly lighter forms of exercises also counted among the types of suitable to lower a woman’s risk of diabetes. Of course, adding aerobic exercise was beneficial to women as well, as those who participated in at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise and 60 minutes of strengthening exercise reduced their risk by one-third.

Diet Remains a Factor

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the women involved in the study who reported regularly exercising also tended to make better food choices, weighed less and did not have a family history of the disease.

Diabetes is closely linked to obesity and being overweight, so that women who make smarter choices about what they eat should be expected to have a lower risk of diabetes. However, this does help reinforce the idea that diet plays just as meaningful a role in combating chronic illness as exercise.

In addition to obesity, studies have also shown that diabetics have a higher risk of suffering from a number of chronic health conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure, gingivitis and tooth decay, and stroke. Women who find themselves overweight or have been diagnosed as prediabetic should consider making changes to their diet in order to prevent the disease from progressing.

 

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