Published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, a new paper claims that people with moderate amounts of muscle strength reduced their risk for type 2 diabetes by 32 percent. Researchers say the benefits were independent of other types of fitness ability, like cardiorespiratory fitness, and lifestyle factors such as smoking. What’s more, you don’t have to be the next Arnold Schwarzenegger to reap the benefit since more muscle strength wasn’t linked to better protection.
The research included more than 4,000 adults who didn’t have diabetes at the beginning of the study in 1981. Everyone participated in muscular strength tests, which included testing for their bench press and seated leg press one-rep max. Each person was then given a strength score that determined whether they had low, moderate or high levels of muscular strength. The team followed up with participants about eight years later to determine who had developed type 2 diabetes.