Insulin Resistance: More Muscle Means Less Diabetes
Hit the weights to help prevent diabetes. New research shows that if you have more lean muscle tissue, you have less risk of diabetes.
While cardio is vitally important for your health, try and incorporate strength-bearing exercises like lifting weights, kettle bells, or using gym equipment that provides the right amount of resistance to build muscle tissue. You could reduce your risk by 12%, and if you purpose to lose weight at the same time, you can reduce your risk even further.
More muscle tissue also helps reduce your risk of a metabolic condition called insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is also called pre-diabetes, and it increases your chances of developing diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and even certain cancers.
Knowing whether or not you are insulin resistant is very important if you are attempting to control your weight. Insulin resistance makes it very difficult to lose weight, and very easy to gain weight.
Insulin resistance – or pre-diabetes – simply means that the cells of your body aren’t metabolizing glucose properly, and when this becomes advanced, it leads to full blown diabetes. With the prevalence of diabetes doubling in the past 15 years, it makes sense to try and avoid becoming one of those statistics.
The study looked at 13,600 people and followed them for 6 years. Researchers found that people who had just 10% greater amount of muscle tissue in their body, according to a special bioelectrical impedance measurement, had 12% less chance of developing pre-diabetes or diabetes type II.
This would be the equivalent of a woman who is 5’4” weighing 130 pounds putting on 5 pounds of muscle tissue and losing 5 pounds of fat tissue. Ideally her weight would remain 130 pounds, but the exchange of weight and re-distribution of her body composition would drastically reduce her risk of developing insulin resistance or diabetes.
At Cederquist Medical Wellness Center, we use the same bioelectrical impedance measurement to determine body composition. Not only do we encourage building lean muscle tissue, we also recommend nutritional support for your muscles. In fact, we have people improve their muscle tissue status just by providing them with the right nutritional parameters that they need in order to get lean and strong.
In patients who have diabetes, it is even more important for them to do the right exercises and follow the right type of diet. Studies show people who have diabetes actually break down lean muscle tissue rapidly. For a variety of reasons, a person with diabetes has a specific need for the right amount of protein intake each day. Then, they will be able to gradually incorporate strengthening exercises to help them replace losses in muscle tissue, and additionally improve their metabolism of glucose.
Source: Preethi Srikanthan, MD, MS, et al. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. Published online July 21, 2011.