Weight training can help lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes
With weightlifting proving a popular sight at the London Olympic Games, many people may be encouraged to get down the gymnasium and pump some iron.
And according to new research the pastime could be good for you.
While many people may think of weightlifters as being muscle-bound Schwarzenegger types, a study conducted in the United States and Denmark has found regular weight training can help to prevent men from being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health in the US and the University of Southern Denmark looked at more than 32,000 men over a period of 18 years.
Of that number 2,300 went on to develop the condition but those who did a minimum of 30 minutes weight training each day were found to have lowered their risk of diabetes by 34 per cent.
It has long been documented that taking regular exercise helps to fend off the disease but this is the first study to have found that weights can provide an alternative to aerobic activity.
Indeed, it is believed that regular weight training will help those who lack the mobility to jog to improve their fitness as well as fight of such conditions.
And people don't need to do weights every single day as the study found that just one hour a week will cut a person's risk by 12 per cent.
Combining weights with an aerobic fitness programme had the greatest effect, reducing risks by 59 per cent.
"Many people have difficulty engaging in or adhering to aerobic exercise," said Lead author Anders Grontved.
"These new results suggest that weight training, to a large extent, can serve as an alternative."
However, despite the positive note to come from the study, which was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine journal, the researchers said that it remains unclear whether or not weight training would have the same benefits for women.