Resistance training (using weights, or one’s own body weight) I believe has been crucial to my weight loss and also to maintaining it. Maintaining muscle may be as, or more important than losing weight. Ladies – this is true for you, too!
Back in the day, housework, yard-work, farming, factory work, etc gave us muscle building activity. Now, many of us with sedentary jobs will need to go to gym.
Not only does muscle burn more fat; more muscle helps us metabolize sugar better and keeps the pancreas producing appropriate amounts of insulin. It also helps insulin to work more effectively to cause sugar to move into muscle, and not build up in the blood (prediabetes, or diabetes). Diabetes is a devastating disease that causes impotence, heart attack, stroke, blindness, amputation,…
So it’s no surprise to me to see a story in USA Today summarizing new research showing that people who have more muscle mass are less likely to develop diabetes:
Other research has shown that having less body fat reduces diabetes risk and that exercise can help too, but the new study by UCLA scientists suggests a link between higher muscle mass and a lower risk of diabetes.
“Our findings suggest that beyond focusing on losing weight to improve metabolic health, there may be a role for maintaining fitness and building muscle mass,” says Preethi Srikanthan, an assistant professor of medicine in the division of endocrinology at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine.
The UCLA research noted:
Conclusions: Across the full range, higher muscle mass (relative to body size) is associated with better insulin sensitivity and lower risk of PDM. Further research is needed to examine the effect of appropriate exercise interventions designed to increase muscle mass on incidence of diabetes.