Diabetes a concern? Maybe it’s time to start lifting those weights and incorporate more muscle-building exercises into your daily routine. Excess body weight and a lack of exercise have long been known to contribute to insulin resistance, a condition in which the body cannot properly utilize the insulin produced in the body. More specifically, recent research shows that people with lower muscle mass on their bodies have increased risk of developing insulin resistance, which put them at risk of developing diabetes. This phenomenon does make sense given the fact that the muscle plays an important role in glucose breakdown, thus affecting the body’s ability to manage blood glucose level.
In a recent study involving over 13,000 subjects, researchers examined to see if increasing muscle mass would improve glucose sensitivity, thus protecting against diabetes. Measuring multiple outcomes, researchers found that the more muscle mass individuals had, the less likely they were to suffer from insulin resistance and diabetes. There was an astonishing 63 percent decrease in diabetes prevalence from the group with the most muscle mass to the group with the least muscle mass. This effect appears to apply to both diabetic and non-diabetic individuals.
More research is needed to fully determine the exact mechanism, but in the meantime, striving to increase your muscle mass with physical activity is not a bad idea. A healthy dose of exercise already has numerous health benefits including improved heart health and mental health. Make sure you get plenty of rest in-between your strength-training exercises for maximum impact.