Weight training, aerobic exercise reduced type 2 diabetes risk

In a study of male health professionals, weight training was associated with a reduced risk for type 2 diabetes. However, combined weight training and aerobic exercise demonstrated a greater risk reduction, according to a recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Researchers performed a prospective cohort study of 32,002 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study observed from 1990 to 2008 to examine the association of weight training with risk for type 2 diabetes in US men, as well as the influence of combining weight training and aerobic exercise. Participants filled out questionnaires at baseline and biennially during 18 years of follow-up that asked for weekly time spent on weight training and aerobic exercise, including brisk walking, jogging, running, bicycling, swimming, tennis, squash and calisthenics/rowing.

Multivariable-adjusted models showed a dose-response relationship between an increasing amount of time spent on weight training or aerobic exercise and lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Participants who engaged in weight training for at least 150 minute per week had a 34% lower risk for type 2 diabetes compared with participants who did not weight train, whereas participants who engaged in aerobic exercise had a 52% lower risk compared with those who did no aerobic exercise. According to study results, participants who engaged in both aerobic exercise and weight training for at least 150 minutes per week had a 59% reduction in type 2 diabetes risk.

Researchers documented 2,278 new cases of type 2 diabetes during follow-up. They cautioned that the results may not be generalized to women and other ethnic groups of men because the study comprised only men who were working as health professional and were mostly white.

For more information:

Grontved A, Rimm EB, Willett WC, et al. A prospective study of weight training and risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus in men. JAMA. Aug. 6, 2012. [Epub ahead of print]

Disclosure: The researchers had no relevant financial disclosures.

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