Most health-conscious women practice aerobic workouts for weight loss and improved overall health — but is it really the best?

A new study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise has found that strength-training actually lowers the risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease significantly for females.

Read: A Fun Workout Routine Will Not Keep You Exercising; You Need To Form A Strong Habit

Researchers examined questionnaires from nearly 36,000 older women between the ages of 47 and 98. These yearly reports were from 2000 through 2014 and asked about the participants' health and exercise levels. According to TIME, one question asked women to estimate how much weight lifting/strength training they’d done per week in the past year.

The research team also tracked which of the women got Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke. They found that strength training was linked to a 30 percent lower risk of the former, while cardiovascular disease risk declined 17 percent.

How about strength training combined with cardio? TIME reported that the study found women who practiced at least 120 minutes a week of aerobic exercise and some strength training had a Type-2 diabetes risk 65 percent lower than women who didn’t do either

Read: Why Does Strength Training Build Muscle But Endurance Training Doesn't?

“Women who reported participating in any amount of strength training were more likely to have a lower BMI, more likely to engage in healthy dietary patterns, and less likely to be a current smoker,” compared with women who avoided it, the study authors wrote.

Source: Shiroma EJ, Cook NR, Manson EJ, Moorthy MV, Buring JE, Rimm EB, et al. Strength Training and the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2016.

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