Lifting weights, doing push-ups or similar resistance exercises that give your muscles a workout can lower your risk of diabetes.
A study, published in PLoS Medicine, tracked the health and fitness of close to 100,00 nurses over an eight year period in the US.
The findings showed that women who engaged in at least 150 minutes a week of aerobic activity, which exercise the heart and lungs, as well as an hour of muscle strengthening activities had the most substantial risk reduction of all – cutting their chance of developing type 2 diabetes by a third.
The benefit of weightlifting was seen on top of any gained from doing aerobic, or cardio activities, alone.
Researchers believe this may be because maintaining greater muscle mass helps to act as a buffer against diabetes.
Health professionals are aware of the benefits that regular exercise, such as running, jogging, walking or swimming have for staving off type 2 diabetes.
But the new findings suggest adding resistance training to regular exercise will help to further safeguard women against developing the disease .
Genes and lifestyle factors influence a person’s chances of developing type 2 diabetes, which occurs when insulin-producing cells in the body are unable to produce enough insulin or when the insulin produced does not work properly.
Carrying excess weight is also a major risk factor. In fact, if you are overweight, every kilogram you lose can help to cut your risk of diabetes by as much as 15 per cent.