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Exclusive ACE Study Proves Functional Fitness Really Works
Older Adults Reap Significant Benefits in Less than a Month

Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2007 in ACE Press Releases


SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Oct. 16, 2007) – The American Council on Exercise (ACE), your premier certification, education and training organization, recently released results of its exclusive study that examined functional fitness programming for older adults; proving that it works and most will see real-world benefits relatively quickly. With the goal of the study to encourage older adults to try functional fitness programs, ACE commissioned researchers at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse to examine physical improvements associated with this type of training.

Led by John Porcari, Ph.D., FACSM, the researchers recruited 48 volunteers, ages 58 to 78 years old. All had some form of cardiac, metabolic or orthopedic condition and all were already participating in the university’s La Crosse Exercise and Health Program. Each subject was randomly assigned to either the experimental group (which would do functional exercise) or the control group (which would stick with a traditional exercise program of walking and aerobic dance).

“The focus was on exercising several muscles and joints together rather than working a particular muscle or group of muscles in isolation, said Cedric Bryant, PhD., FACSM, chief science officer for ACE. “Incorporating functional strength training into an exercise program will help improve balance, agility, dynamic flexibility, strength and endurance to enhance older adults’ abilities to safely and effectively perform their various activities of daily living.”

Those who went through the functional fitness training, showed greater physical improvements than those who did not. Improvements were seen in lower-body strength (13% improvement), upper-body strength (14%), cardiorespiratory endurance (7%), agility/dynamic balance (13%) and shoulder flexibility (43%).

The experimental group participated in functional exercise sessions three times a week for four consecutive weeks. Each session included a circuit of 12 functional exercises including moves such as wall push-ups, lunge and chop and squat with diagonal reach. For complete copy of the study and workout visit www.acefitness.org.

To aid the growing older adult population, ACE is pleased to have recently teamed up with AARP, the leading nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for people age 50 and over in the United States, offering exclusive personal training discounts to its more than 39 million members. Find out more at AARPfitness.com.

About ACE

The American Council on Exercise (ACE), your premier certification, education and training organization, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the benefits of physical activity and protecting consumers against unsafe and ineffective fitness products and instruction. ACE sponsors university-based exercise science research and is one of the world’s largest nonprofit fitness certifying organizations. For more information on ACE and its programs, call (800) 825-3636 or log onto the ACE Web site at www.acefitness.org

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