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Exercise to Help Prevent Diabetes

Exercise to Help Prevent Diabetes

Women over 35 need Strength Training Exercise 

Women who think weight training in the gym is for young, athletic males need to think again; this type of exercise can reduce the likelihood of type 2 diabetes. Women typically start life with less muscle and more fat than men and, without being proactive, both will lose almost 50 per cent of their muscle mass throughout their lifetime, a process known as sarcopenia.

Muscles exist to provide body movement; loss of muscle mass with age reduces people’s ability to perform everyday tasks like getting up out of a chair or opening a food can. Although this may seem a long way off, this scenario is not inevitable and it’s never too late to reverse the process with exercise. Even seniors can increase muscle mass with strength training. 

A slowing of the metabolism after the age of 40 may contribute to weight gain and middle-age spread, but because this is due to loss of muscle mass, it can be prevented. Muscle burns more energy than fat, so for two women who are the same weight, the more muscular one will be leaner.

Lack of exercise can lead to type 2 diabetes which affects around 25 per cent of Australians because their bodies can no longer respond properly to insulin. Glucose (sugar) circulates in the blood and is stored as glycogen in the muscles. The greater the muscle mass, the more efficient this process. In type 2 diabetes, either the body is not producing enough insulin or the body is resistant to insulin; lack of muscle mass means limited storage space for the glycogen so too much sugar is left circulating in the blood stream.

Women who do strength training exercises will increase their muscle mass which helps prevent insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

Image: Ammentorp Photography/Shutterstock

Strength Training – Dr. Joanna McMilan-Price – TheFoodCoach

Diabetes Basics – WebMD

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