In 2012, over 1.7 million Americans 20 and older were newly diagnosed with diabetes. While most people are aware of diabetes, and most people know it has to do with insulin and blood sugar, preventing it means more than avoiding the sweets. In fact, strength training to achieve an optimal amount of quality muscle is a great way to reduce your risk of diabetes.

Understanding diabetes and insulin efficiency

Diabetes, in simplest terms, is a chronic problem of too much sugar in the bloodstream. Insulin is what transports the sugar (glucose) into your cells to be absorbed, thereby powering your body. How well your body, particularly your muscles and liver, are able to utilize the sugar reflects your Insulin Efficiency. The better your insulin efficiency, the better off you’re body is able to function.

Why are muscles so important in preventing diabetes?

Your muscle deteriorates at a rate of about a third of a pound each year after the age of 25. This means if you aren’t doing anything to build muscle, doing nothing will not maintain the status quo; your muscle mass will steadily decline. Strength training is not about bulking up in the Olumia Life program. It’s about making your body healthy and getting a fit, toned look.

When your muscles are strong and healthy, they can better utilize the glucose in your blood.

This has been proven in numerous studies. One study published in 2011, looked at the muscle mass relative to body weight of over 13,000 people over a 6-year period. The researchers found that just a little more muscle mass could lead to an significant improvement in insulin efficiency.

In fact, for every 10% that the ratio of muscle to body weight (the Skeletal Muscle Index) improved, the level of insulin efficiency improved 11%.

Another important aspect of how muscles improve insulin efficiency is by lowering the amount of triglycerides in the muscle. Triglycerides are a type of lipid, or fat. When a muscle is more healthy and strong, this results in lower triglyceride levels in the muscle, allowing insulin to perform its job more easily and your insulin efficiency to improve.

What you need to do

Exercising your muscles with the right type, variety, order, and progression of exercise is key. There is, of course, more than one cause of the lowered insulin efficiency that can lead to diabetes, just as there are numerous aspects to your overall health.

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