For Older Adults, A Little Exercise Goes A Long Way
Just one workout a week is all it takes for older adults to maintain their strength and, possibly, their independence, according to a new study from researchers at the Human Performance Laboratory at Ball State University, Muncie, Ind.
Ten sedentary 70-year-old men were recruited to take part in a 12-week strength-training program.
After training three times per week, the men had increased their muscle size and strength by 50 percent.
At the end of the program, half the men went back to their sedentary ways, while the other half did the same routine, but only once per week.
After six months, the sedentary men had lost much of their muscle size and strength, but the once-a-week exercisers were still going strong.
Sarcopenia, or loss of muscle size and strength, is a major cause of the falls and injuries among older adults that result in a loss of independent living.
''One day per week seems to be effective,'' writes Scott Trappe, Ph.D., in the April issue of the Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences.
''Older adults could engage in a low-volume, high-intensity resistance-training program and still maintain independence and reduce their chances for falls and injuries.''
Source: Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences, 2002; 57, B138-B143
This appeared in ACE FitnessMatters, ACE's official magazine.
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