How Building Muscle Mass Reduces Risk of Type 2 Diabetes (T2D)
Good news, you can take control of your diabetes risk by improving your body composition. It all starts with Skeletal Muscle Mass.
Research has shown that increasing your muscle mass reduces your risk of Type 2 Diabetes (T2D). For example, In a 2017 study, researchers in Korea and Japan followed over 200,000 otherwise healthy people who had no diabetes or pre-diabetes at the start of the experiment. After 2.9 years, the participants with more muscle mass were significantly less likely to have T2D: Yet another reason to include muscle building resistance exercises into your workout routine.
In fact, exercise is good for reducing diabetes risk as well as improving diabetic state all on its own. This is because exercise increases the delivery of glucose to our muscle cells. When you exercise, your muscles are exerting more than their normal energy demand, thus creating a higher need for energy/glucose to fuel them. In fact, resistance training has been shown to be particularly beneficial for T2D. Larger muscles require more energy, therefore the leg muscles, being the largest muscles in the body, are especially important for glucose uptake and regulation. Therefore, targeting the legs with resistance exercise may improve diabetes risk factors as well as promote physical function. As mentioned previously, those who are diagnosed with T2D often lose the most muscle mass in the legs, making leg day all the more important to maintain and build muscle mass to reduce the risk of diabetes.
Although type 2 diabetics are insulin-resistant, this increased demand for glucose from exercise helps to increase the efficiency of insulin to get glucose into the muscle cells, improving their diabetic state overall.