It is well documented that weight bearing exercise helps to strengthen the heart, improves muscle mass, increases bone density and boosts energy levels while reducing stress. The latest finding from a University of Michigan study reveals that short bursts of weight bearing activity, often found in high intensity training, may also reduce the risk of diabetes due to its impact on the white muscles in the body.
Red and White Muscles
Lifting weights is most often associated with strengthening muscles and keeping the bones healthy which benefit red muscle. Red muscle gets its color from the energy factories of cells, the mitochondria. Red muscle allows endurance athletes to have the strength to power through tough workouts. White muscles are common in sprinters and weight lifters using resistance training, who require a short burst of energy. Most people have a mixture of both red and white muscles in their body.
Muscles and Aging
As we age, white muscle becomes more prevalent, and the cells begin to rely on glucose for energy. Researchers have long thought that this increased demand for energy from glucose may increase the risk of diabetes as dependence on glucose can encourage encourage insulin resistance. As the demand for glucose increases, insulin can leave the cells unable to respond to the sugar-metabolizing hormone. This creates an environment conducive to the development of diabetes.
However, this latest research reports that white muscles may actually help to keep blood sugar levels in check, thus protecting the body from diabetes. So, it is possible that this increase of white muscles that occurs naturally with age is really not a risk factor in the development of diabetes, as once thought, and that people who have a higher percentage of white muscles may actually be less at risk.
Gaining White Muscles through High Intensity Training
If having more white muscles is actually a way to protect the body from diabetes, how do we get more white muscles? One excellent way to develop white muscles is through high intensity training. High intensity training is a form of progressive resistance training that requires maximum energy output during a short time period.
To increase white muscles and gain strength, high intensity training puts more demand on a set of muscles than they may be used to. This is known as the overload principle. The higher the overload, the more effective the exercise. Repetitions are normally performed in an all-out method until there is no way to perform another rep with good form. While there are many methods of high intensity training, the general principle is the same: work as hard as possible for a short period of time rather than moderately over a long period of time.
-The Alternative Daily