Study: Combine Cardio and Weights to Beat Diabetes
Switching up your weekly workouts doesn’t just lead to a better physique—it also protects against disease. Lifting weights and engaging in aerobic activity for a total of 300 minutes a week (that’s an hour of exercise five days per week) can lower your risk of type 2 diabetes by 59 percent, according to a new study from Harvard University.
Researchers observed more than 32,000 men from 1990 to 2008. Every two years, participants reported their physical activity, which ranged from running and biking to tennis, swimming, and stair climbing. At the end of the study period, those who had engaged in both weight training and aerobic exercise had a lower risk of type 2 diabetes compared to men who did only one type of exercise.
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Why? The combination of cardio and strength training delivers a long-lasting one-two punch that keeps blood sugar low and reduces insulin dependency. “Weight training improves muscle strength and lean body mass, which leads to improved insulin sensitivity, and aerobic exercises improves cardiorespiratory fitness and insulin sensitivity,” says study author Frank Hu, MD, PhD, Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health. (Want more must-have health and fitness advice delivered straight your inbox? Sign up for our free Daily Dose Newsletter.)
So for the best type 2 diabetes blocker, mix it up in the gym—or at home. Try the cutting-edge fitness system that blends both. Speed Shred, the brand-new workout series from Men’s Health, is based entirely on the new science of “metabolic resistance training.” Every workout—there are 18 in all—is a strategic fusion of high-intensity intervals and strength training. This combination creates a potent fat-burning formula that will get you leaner and fitter faster than you ever thought possible—and you’ll slash your diabetes risk to pieces. Check it out today!
This post originally appeared on MensHealth.com and was written by Stephanie Smith.
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