When it comes to exercise, aerobics steal all glory. All fun ways to sweat can help you get the government recommended 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week, such as swimming, volleyball, fast walking, anything that speeds up your blood flow and breathing.
Another less appealing is strength training. While about half of Americans meet the goal of aerobic exercise, only 20% participate in recommended muscle strengthening activities in major muscle groups. In particular, women tend to evade.
But they neglected their own dangers. Strength training significantly reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease and found a new study published in the Journal of Medicine and Exercise Science.
Scientists (and anyone else who once smoked iron) have long known that strength training increases muscle mass. It also protects the bones by increasing their density, which is an important benefit for older women. But recent evidence suggests that it also lowers BMI, which improves how the body uses insulin. Larger muscles also means that glucose can better bypass the body.
Researchers hope to see if the little-known benefits of strength training like this actually affect a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Using data from the Women’s Health Study, they tracked nearly 36,000 older women aged 47-98 years. Women fill in questionnaires every year from 2000 to 2014 to understand their health and exercise level. One problem that women ask women to assess their weight / strength training held each week in the past year has been asked. Researchers track which women have cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks, strokes and type 2 diabetes.
Whether a woman has done these muscular exercises or does not predict her health is much. “It is reported that women participating in any strength training are more likely to have a lower body mass index than women who avoid strength training, are more likely to be engaged in a healthy diet and less likely to be current smokers,” the authors wrote.
Strength training is also linked to the risk of women in both situations. Those who said they did any strength training showed a 30% lower risk of type 2 diabetes even after researchers took control of other variables such as age, vegetables and fruit intake, and the risk of cardiovascular disease 17% less physical activity than those who did not.
Not surprisingly, adding aerobics helps reduce risk. Those who exercise aerobics and strength for at least 120 minutes per week have a 65% lower risk of type 2 diabetes than women who do not.
More research is needed to determine the optimal strength training for women and men to reduce their risk. However, studies show that both sports have unique benefits and that strength training is somewhat scientific.