Lift Weights to Fight Metabolic Syndrome

gym_729-620x349It is nothing new to know that going to the gym to workout is one of the best things you can do for your body.  It helps you lose weight and feel great.  As if that weren’t enough reason to go, a new study suggests that lifting weights can significantly reduce one’s risk of metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors associated with diabetes and heart disease.  These risk factors include high triglyceride levels, elevated blood pressure, high glucose levels and reduced levels of HDL, or “good” cholesterol.  Patients that display at least three out of these five risk factors are considered to have metabolic syndrome.

Researchers analyzed data from the 1999 – 2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), where participants were asked if they lifted weights.  Of the 5,618 US adults who qualified for the study, only 8.8% indicated that they did lift weights.  It was also almost twice as common with men than women, and became less frequent with people over 50 years old.

The results of the study showed that, once adjusted for demographic factors, those that lifted weights were 37% less likely to be at risk of metabolic syndrome than those that didn’t.  Additional research has also indicated that increased muscle mass also contributes to lower rates of metabolic syndrome.

Now going to the gym is good for more than just looking good.  So do some squat thrusts, do some chest presses and curl some dumbbells to better your physique, as well as your fight against metabolic syndrome!