Regular bouts of weight lifting may cut the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes among men by more than 30%.
Adding further exercise such as “brisk” walking or running can also help stave off the disease.
A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine journal analysed the lifestyles of 32,000 Americans taking part in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, including how much time they spent in the gym.
During the study period of 18 years (1990 to 2008), a total of 2,278 participants developed Type 2 diabetes.
Findings showed the more time men spent pushing weights the higher the lower their risk of developing the most common form of diabetes became.
Men weight lifting between one and 59 minutes a week reduced their Type 2 diabetes risk by 12%.
When the time spent pumping iron increased to between 60 and 149 minutes every seven days, the diabetes risk fell further to 25% and peaked at 34% when men carried out weight training for 150 minutes or more every week.
Furthemore, researchers found by coupling 150 minutes of aerobics and 150 minutes of weight training per week could cut their Type 2 diabetes risk by a whopping 59%.
"This study provides clear evidence that weight training has beneficial effects on diabetes risk over and above aerobic exercise, which are likely to be mediated through increased muscle mass and improved insulin sensitivity,” said the study’s co author Professor Frank Hu, a nutrition expert from the Harvard School of Public Health.
"To achieve the best results for diabetes prevention, resistance training can be incorporated with aerobic exercise."
Do you find it more or less difficult to talk to men about their exercise regime than women?