According to a new study published in the journal PLOS Medicine, lifting weights, taking yoga and other muscle toning classes can also lower the risk.
And, when combined with aerobic exercise, the risk of diabetes plummets.
The study, which included nearly 100,000 women, found that for every hour of muscle-strengthening exercise in a week, the women lowered their risk of diabetes by almost 14 percent. Women who spent more than 150 minutes hour every week strengthening or conditioning their muscles cut their risk by 40 percent, according to the study.
But those who did aerobics and muscle-strengthening exercises saw the most benefits. They reduced their risk by two-thirds.
Researchers set out to study diabetes prevention because the disease is becoming increasingly common worldwide.
“Type 2 diabetes, which was previously known as adult-onset diabetes, can often initially be controlled with diet and exercise, and with anti-diabetic drugs such as metformin and sulfonylureas,” the authors wrote. “However, as the disease progresses, the pancreatic beta cells, which make insulin, become impaired and patients may eventually need insulin injections. Long-term complications of diabetes, which include an increased risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart disease and stroke, reduce the life expectancy of people with diabetes by about 10 years compared to people without diabetes.”
+ Do you have Type 2 diabetes? Take control of your health with a Diabetes Care Plan at Bon Secours.
+ Learn more about diabetes on our Frequently Asked Questions page. Find out how to avoid low blood sugar and when you should check your glucose.