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Friday, August 22, 2014

Weekly weightlifting improves elderly strength and performance

No surprise here. A good well planned comprehensive strength and conditioning program can help improve anyone at any age. Get your program here
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) -- Lifting weights as little as once a week can increase strength and functional performance in individuals aged 65 to 79 years.
In people over 65 years, resistance training "is now recognized as a safe and effective method for strength development and an important contributor to maintaining independence and enhancing physical capabilities," according to Dr. Dennis Taaffe from the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Palo Alto, California, and colleagues. Their report is published in the October issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
The investigators assigned 19 women and 34 men to one of four 24-week regimens: three sets of eight muscle strength exercises once, twice, or three times weekly, or continuation of usual activity alone.
All three exercise groups increased their muscle strength -- ranging from 37% to 42% during the 24-week program -- significantly more than the control group (4%), the report indicates. The exercise groups also experienced an increase in lean body mass compared with the controls without an increase in fat mass.
Interestingly, the team found no difference among the three exercise groups for upper body, lower body, or whole body strength.
As tests of physical function, the exercise groups all performed more quickly in rising from a chair and in toe-to-heel backward walking for 6 meters (nearly 20 feet) compared with the control group, according to the results.
Thus, "participation in resistance exercise twice, or even once, each week achieves substantial strength gains similar to those accomplished in a standard 3-day per week program, and these gains are accompanied by improved neuromuscular performance," the investigators conclude.
"As declining muscle strength and balance promote falls and fracture in older adults, we suggest that a high-intensity progressive resistance training program of only one session per week may prove useful in reducing the risk of falls and, hence, fracture," Taaffe and colleagues propose.
Source: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 47:1208-1214.

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