Bodybuilding Can Decrease Your Risk Of Developing Type 2 Diabetes!

Type 2 diabetes doesn't appear overnight. It takes time for it to develop which means you have time to take the necessary measures to halt its development in its tracks. Learn more.

Article Summary:
  • Type 2 diabetes has some controllable risk factors and others you can't.
  • Physical activity and healthy diet are great measures to decrease risk.
  • Decreasing your stress levels is recommended for decreasing your risk.

  • Bodybuilding Can Decrease Your Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes

    Type 2 Diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. Formerly known as Adult Onset Diabetes, type 2 diabetes typically strikes during adulthood. Though it used to be very uncommon for children to develop type 2 diabetes, our nation is seeing an alarming increase in the number of children who are being diagnosed with this disease. This rise, in both children and adults, coincides with the rise in obesity over the past several years.

    This Rise Coincides With The Rise In Obesity Over The Past Several Years.
    + Click To Enlarge.
    This Rise Coincides With The Rise In
    Obesity Over The Past Several Years.

    In type 2 diabetes, our body's cells become resistant to the hormone insulin which shuttles glucose (sugar) into our cells. When our body is resistant to insulin, and in the absence of medication, our blood sugar levels stay elevated. Over time, high blood sugar causes a number of complications including heart disease, kidney disease, eye problems, nerve damage, skin problems and circulation issues.


      The most important thing to know is that type 2 diabetes is often preventable. Though some people have an increased propensity for developing this disease, if they take the proper measures, they can increase their chances of preventing it from ever occurring. Type 2 diabetes doesn't appear overnight. It takes time for it to develop which means you have time to take the necessary measures to halt its development in its tracks.

      There are many contributing factors that can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes. These include:

      Excess Fat

        Excess body fat, especially abdominal fat will increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The more fat you have packed on your body, the more your cells become resistant to insulin.

        In addition, the type of fat you eat and the size of your cells alters your cell membranes which house the receptor sites that insulin binds to. This would be like cutting a larger keyhole and expecting the same key (insulin) to open the door.


        Physical activity helps control your weight and it uses up glucose in your bloodstream for energy so your body doesn't have to pump out as much insulin to bring that glucose into your cells. It also makes your cells more sensitive to insulin.

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    Metabolism And Inactive Daily Life, I Need Advice. I am 6 foot 220 pounds and have been figuring my RMB at around 2600 cals, but I don't do much when I am at school (other than my one hour a day workout 4 times a week).
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      Family History

        If your parents or any siblings suffer from type 2 diabetes, your risk is greater.


        If your heritage is African, Hispanic, American Indian or Asian/Pacific Islander, your risk is greater.


        As we age our risk goes up.

    Increased Risk Comes With Age.
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    Increased Risk Comes With Age.

        But, many diseases associated with aging can be partly blamed on the fact that many Americans sit on their butts more as they get older. They exercise less, lose some of their metabolic firehouse (muscle mass that is) and gain fat weight. So is it really the age or the undesirable lifestyle that many people succumb to as they age?

      Gestational Diabetes

        If you are a man you don't have to worry about this (unless you are that guy who delivered a baby; though his insides are still those of a female so technically I'm not sure if he is a man).

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        Anyway, women who become diabetic during pregnancy increase their risk of developing type 2 diabetes in later life. Also, giving birth to a baby over 9 lbs increases your risk. Talk to your physician or dietitian about how many calories you need in each trimester to deliver a healthy baby.

    Bodybuilding Can Help Decrease Your Risk For Developing Type 2 Diabetes

      After examining the causes of diabetes above, you probably noticed the modifiable risk factors, those you have some control over. Sure, you can't pick your genetics but you can make the most of what you were born with. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are three main things you can do to prevent type 2 diabetes. Luckily, as a bodybuilder you are already doing these things:

      1. Eat Healthy Foods

        Choose foods low in fat and calories. Focus on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. If you are a bodybuilder, you already eat a healthy diet. Who goes into the gym and comes home to a snack of doughnut holes and Yoo-Hoo? Maybe the casual every-once-in-a-while gym goer does this, but not a bodybuilder.

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        As a bodybuilder, you actually train hard when you go to the gym and maximize your results by eating a diet loaded with vegetables, whole grains, some fruit and lean sources of protein (including MRPs of course).

      2. Get More Physical Activity

        Aim for 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day. If you can't fit in a long workout, break it up into smaller sessions spread throughout the day.

        As a bodybuilder you have this one covered. In fact, you are doing more than the minimum amount of exercise recommended to help decrease your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. You periodize your training to meet your goals and consistently challenge your body through strength training and aerobics.

      3. Lose Excess Pounds

        If you're overweight, losing even 10 pounds can reduce the risk of diabetes. If you are a bodybuilder, you aren't over-fat. The height/weight charts and BMI tables are for the average population.

    Losing Even 10 Pounds Can Reduce The Risk Of Diabetes.
    + Click To Enlarge.
    Losing Even 10 Pounds Can
    Reduce The Risk Of Diabetes.

        If you are above your "healthy BMI" range because you have built a lot of muscle mass but you have low body fat, throw that chart out the window and take comfort knowing that you are doing what is right for your body to help decrease your risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

        If you are over-fat and new to bodybuilding, congratulations! You are doing the right things to decrease both the size of your gut and your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

        If you are a bodybuilder, you also take care of your overall health which means getting regular physicals (including a fasting blood sugar level).

    What Should A Type 2 Diabetic Do To Live Healthy? What Should A Type 2 Diabetic Do To Live Healthy?
    More and more people are at risk for type 2 diabetes. It's a serious health concern amongst a number of Americans. There are many steps one with type 2 diabetes can do to live a healthy life.

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        If you get checked regularly and fix anything that isn't quite right before the problem gets worse, you'll surely prevent many diseases before they take hold of your body. If you have high blood sugar levels, work on fixing those now, before this turns into type 2 diabetes.

    Additional Tips For Preventing Type 2 Diabetes:

    • Get a pedometer, use it and aim for 10,000 steps each day. Though you go to the gym, you also need daily physical activity. If you have a desk job and sit on your butt all day, get up and get moving.
    • Cut down on your alcohol consumption.
    • Tweak your diet so you are including more fiber, 14 grams for every 1,000 calories.
    • Decrease your stress.

    One of the greatest assets a bodybuilder has is confidence. Not just confidence in how you look but confidence in knowing that you can transform your body above and beyond what many people think is possible.

    One Of The Greatest Assets A Bodybuilder Has Is Confidence.
    + Click To Enlarge.
    One Of The Greatest Assets
    A Bodybuilder Has Is Confidence.

    And more importantly, you can also transform your health. And that alone is one of the most empowering things about bodybuilding: the realization that although you may have an increased risk for certain diseases you can and will do everything in your power to beat your risk factors and live a healthy life.

    About The Author:

    Marie Spano, MS, RD, CSCS, has counseled hundreds of individuals on weight loss and sports nutrition. For more information, visit her website:


    1. Type 2 Diabetes. American Diabetes Association.
    2. Type 2 Diabetes. Mayo Clinic.

    Check Out Marie Spano's BodySpace
    Marie Spano
    Marie Spano, MS, RD, Vice President of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) is a registered dietitian with a MS in Nutrition and BS in Exercise and Sports Science. She consults with professional, recreational and collegiate athletes.
    [ Check Out Her BodySpace ]