DALLAS—Royal Wright is just like millions of American men--fighting type 2 diabetes.
He was diagnosed in 1991 and now he plans to build more muscle to tear down his type 2 diabetes.
Royal is encouraged by a new joint study by researchers at Harvard University and the University of Southern Denmark.
Researchers looked at more than 2,000 men who over time had developed diabetes--adjusting to risk factors they categorized the men into three groups: those who lifted between 1 and 59 minutes, 60 and 149 minutes and 150 minutes or more.
The men who lifted longer reduced their risk of diabetes by 34%.
Dr. Shade Lester is the medical director at the Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute in Dallas.
She calls the study exciting.
"A lot of people have always known the benefits of aerobic exercise, the treadmill, the walking, the running and all of those things but weights; we haven't given it its due reward I think," Dr. Lester said.
Men who lifted weights for under an hour reduced their risk by 12% while those who lifted more than an hour reduced their risk by 25%.
People with type 2 diabetes are resistant to insulin—Dr. Lester said removing fat and increasing muscle is key.
“That is where the weight lifting comes in,” Dr. Lester said. “The actual amount of muscle, it helps to displace the sugar and allow the sugar to do what it's supposed to do."
Researchers find the only thing better than lifting weights is combining weight lifting with aerobic--150 minutes a week of each reduced the risk of diabetes by a whopping 59%
Royal started lifting weights again last December and has seen his blood sugar levels improve.
He's due for another check in about a month--he's now pumping iron with more purpose.
"I should probably take it a little bit more often than they ask for in order to see if it's increasing or decreasing as opposed to the amount of weight i lift," Royal said.