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Lifting Weights Lowers Health Risks – Metabolic Syndrome

We know that lifting weights can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis but new information says that those who regularly pump iron could also be lowering their risk of ‘Metabolic Syndrome.’

What is that? There are 5 risk factors that when you answer ‘yes’ to having at least three, you are considered to have Metabolic Syndrome, which makes you a risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke and that risk increases with the number of metabolic risk factors you have. So, a person who has Metabolic Syndrome is twice as likely to develop heart disease and five times as likely to develop diabetes as someone who doesn’t have Metabolic Syndrome.

Here are the risk factors:

  • A large waistline. This also is called abdominal obesity or “having an apple shape.” Excess fat in the stomach area is a greater risk factor for heart disease than excess fat in other parts of the body, such as on the hips.
  • A high triglyceride level (or you’re on medicine to treat high triglycerides). Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood.
  • A low HDL cholesterol level (or you’re on medicine to treat low HDL cholesterol). HDL is sometimes called “good” cholesterol. This is because it helps remove cholesterol from your arteries. A low HDL cholesterol level raises your risk for heart disease.
  • High blood pressure (or you’re on medicine to treat high blood pressure). Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps blood. If this pressure rises and stays high over time, it can damage your heart and lead to plaque buildup.
  • High fasting blood sugar (or you’re on medicine to treat high blood sugar). Mildly high blood sugar may be an early sign of diabetes.

Okay, so let’s get back to our GOOD news!

They surveyed the fasting blood samples of 5,618 U.S. adults and discovered that 8.8% answered yes to the question about lifting weights. The investigators observed that Metabolic Syndrome was far less prevalent among people who reported lifting weights: 24.6%, compared to 37.3% in those who did not lift weights.

Research has linked greater muscle strength and muscle mass to lower rates of Metabolic Syndrome. Since lifting weights increases muscle strength and mass, it might also help to decrease the development of Metabolic Syndrome.

The study authors urge for the: “[strong encouragement of] the activity of [lifting weights] among adults of all ages to promote metabolic health.”

Do you need another reason to start using that gym membership or even keep some barbells under the couch?

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