Reducing Diabetes Risk as We Age

Muscle Strengthening with Weights

As we age, we slowly begin to lose muscle mass, and our skin shows the pull of gravity. I remember one day, somewhere around the time when I hit 40, I caught a glimpse in the mirror and all of sudden, stunned, I remember thinking to myself “when did all this sagging start?”

Well, it just happens. It will happen. To everyone. But if you start doing Yoga, exercise regularly, and add a little weight training, you can keep your body stronger, prevent your muscle mass from a rapid decline, and reduce your risk of diabetes.

Research studies (Grontved A et al.PLoS Med. 2014;11(1):e1001587) show:
“...that regular aerobic physical activity, such as walking and running, provides protection against type 2 diabetes.”

They questioned whether this same effect could be shown from muscle training as well.

Enter the NHS or Nurses Health Study. This is an ongoing study of a large group of nurses over time, that looks at all kinds of health habits, and health issues happening over the years. I am a nurse that has been a subject in these studies since 1976, when I was just finishing nursing school. There were 121,701 nurses to begin with, and now there are 78,000 still in contact, and 85,000 still alive. (God bless those tired, worn out, nurses who have passed on to glory.)

“Compared to women who did not engage in these activities, individuals who spent 1 to 2.5 hours per week on (yoga, walking, running, resistance exercises, stretching, and toning muscle strengthening exercises) had a 25% lower risk of diabetes;

….women who spent more that 2.5 hours per week had a 40% lower risk

….Women who engaged in both muscle strengthening exercise and aerobic activity had about a 70% lower risk of diabetes compared to inactive women

…. Our findings suggest that adding two or more days per week of muscle strengthening activity to moderate / vigorous activities provides the best protection against diabetes.”

You could do these activities at a gym, independently in your home or outdoors, or purchase a workout DVD and a couple of light weights to use in the privacy and comfort of your own surroundings. So, you see, there is no excuse to not get moving and build a little muscle, assuming you are in otherwise good physical health as approved by your doctor, right?

Let’s do this!

About Candace

Candy Dye is a Nurse Practitioner and teacher that loves everything about health, wellness, looking beautiful, and being with people who enjoy life and love to have fun!

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