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Resistance Training May be Key to Health Later in Life

Frailty is normal as we age, but there are ways to reduce it. A recent study suggests that women should practice resistance training in order to ward of frailty later in life.


Participants in the study included 46 women between the ages of 60 and 74 and between the ages of 75 and 90. All of the participants had a higher risk of falling due to falls in past two years. 28 of the participants were doing home-based strengthening and balance exercise, and the rest were not. Participants were divided into three levels of physical activity using caloric expenditure/week: low (<2,000 kcal/week), medium (2,000–3,999 kcal/week) and high (?4,000 kcal/week).


The researchers examined 12 frailty indicators in both groups. Muscle strength and endurance data were collected in a rehabilitation physiology lab. Generally, the younger group was more mobile and stronger when compared with the older group. However, when the researchers looked at those who were highly physically active in both groups, the gap in mobility disappeared.


Five of the frailty indicators showed a significantly significant difference between the highly physically active and the minimally physically active; ankle PF strength, quadriceps endurance, walking speed, step length, and ADLs. When the researchers looked at muscle strength, there was a larger gap between the physically active women in each group. The researchers suggest that this is due to a lack of resistance training.


Researchers from State University of Buffalo led the study. It was published online ahead of print on March 15, 2018, in Physical & Occupational Therapy In Geriatrics.


Resistance training is a type of exercise that involves stressing your muscles, for example with weights. Studies suggest that it is an effective way to both lose weight and build muscle.

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