MONDAY, March 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) — A moderate level of muscular strength is associated with a reduced risk for type 2 diabetes, independent of estimated cardiorespiratory fitness, according to a study published online March 11 in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Yuehan Wang, from Iowa State University in Ames, and colleagues examined the correlation between muscular strength and incident type 2 diabetes among 4,681 adults aged 20 to 100 years without type 2 diabetes at baseline. Muscle strength was measured by leg and bench press and categorized as age group-specific and sex-specific thirds of the combined strength score.

The researchers found that 4.9 percent of the participants developed type 2 diabetes during a mean follow-up of 8.3 years. Compared with those with the lower level of muscular strength, participants with the middle level of muscular strength had a reduced risk for type 2 diabetes development (hazard ratio, 0.68) after adjustment for potential confounders, including estimated cardiorespiratory fitness. There was no significant correlation noted between the upper level of muscular strength and incident type 2 diabetes.

“We want to encourage small amounts of resistance training and it doesn’t need to be complicated,” a coauthor said in a statement. “You can get a good resistance workout with squats, planks, or lunges. Then, as you build strength, you can consider adding free weights or weight machines.”

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