Oakland University-led research shows resistance training can help reduce type 2 diabetes risk

ROCHESTER, Mich., June 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — A group of Oakland University researchers used data from medical studies around the…

ROCHESTER, Mich., June 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — A group of Oakland University researchers used data from medical studies around the world to examine the impact of resistance training on type 2 diabetes risk. 

Their findings, published in the journal Sports Medicine, showed that resistance training like weight lifting and resistance band exercise is helpful for controlling blood sugar and blood lipid (LDL, HDL and Triglycerides) levels – two of the most prominent risk factors for type 2 diabetes. 

«Previous studies have shown resistance training is effective for controlling glycemic (blood sugar) and blood lipid levels in adults who have type 2 diabetes,» said Raza Qadir, a recent Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine graduate and the paper’s lead author. «Our research showed that resistance training is also useful for controlling those same variables, in addition to reducing body fat, in people who are at risk for developing the disease.»

Elise Brown, an assistant professor in OU’s School of Health Sciences, Taylor Todd, a student in OU’s School of Health Sciences and Nicholas Sculthorpe, a professor in the School of Health and Life Sciences at the University of the West of Scotland, were co-authors on the paper. 

The researchers pulled data from controlled clinical trials that tracked cardiometabolic outcomes in adults with type 2 diabetes risk, comparing those who underwent a resistance training intervention with those who did not. Sculthorpe performed the data analysis, which showed that resistance training, when performed over a period of at least 12 weeks, is effective in lowering blood sugar, body fat and blood lipids in adults at risk for type 2 diabetes.

«These findings have implications for type 2 diabetes prevention efforts,» said Qadir, adding that long-term studies are needed to determine if regular resistance training can prevent the disease altogether. «If we can prevent the disease, we can avoid the health complications and costs associated with it.»

Researchers found that the clinical trials that demonstrated the most significant improvements in cardiometabolic outcomes for patients at risk for type 2 diabetes employed specific training parameters – namely the use of free weights or resistance bands at intensities above 60% one-repetition maximum, with 10-15 repetitions at a time. This means an individual is using an intensity that is above 60% of the maximum amount of resistance they can move through an appropriate range of motion for one repetition using correct technique. 

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SOURCE Oakland University