That’s the finding of an eight year study, published in the journal PLoS Medicine, which tracked the health of nearly 100,000 nurses in the US.
The results show that muscle building exercises, such as lifting weights and doing press-ups, are linked with a lower risk of diabetes.
The reduced diabetes risk seen in the study, was an additional benefit to those also gained from doing aerobic workouts that exercise the heart and lungs.
Women who engaged in at least an hour a week of muscle-strengthening activities and 150 minutes a week of aerobic workouts were found to have the most significant risk reduction compared to women who were inactive, cutting their odds of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as a third.
It is already known that regular aerobic exercise, such as jogging, brisk walking or swimming can help prevent odds of developing type 2 diabetes, but this study suggests adding resistance training to exercise regimes will give further protection.
The researchers from Harvard Medical School point out that their work looked at only nurses who were Caucasian and relied on the study participants reporting how much exercise they did rather than directly measuring it.
But they say their findings concur with similar results they already have for men and they believe the explanation may be partly down to maintaining a greater muscle mass to act as a buffer against diabetes.
Source: PLoS Medicine