The benefits of a little resistance for older adults

Jul 18, 2008

University of Queensland research is showing the benefits of resistance training in keeping older Australians in tip top form.

Dr Tim Henwood, a postdoctoral research fellow with UQ and Blue Care, said his recently completed PhD research investigated how people over the age of 65 responded to resistance training.

"What we were looking at was how simple resistance training can improve muscle strength, power and functional performance." Dr Henwood said.

"By building strength we are aiming to improve the quality of life of older people and allow them to maintain independence into later life.

"This type of training not only has significant physical benefits but has also been associated with a decreased risk of later life disease."

Dr Henwood said the study had participants do a basic twice-weekly, machine-based resistance training program that targeted the major muscles of the upper and lower body. All training sessions were thoroughly supervised to promote motivation and correct technique.

He said with Australia's ageing population there would be greater stress placed on our healthcare system and any preventative measures taken would have long-term positive effects.

He said while many older people are encouraged to do basic aerobic exercise like walking to maintain their health, the benefits of increasing their muscle strength and power are as if not more important in the prevention of functional decline.

"We saw some very significant increases, up to a 50 percent in muscle strength and power," he said.

"However, the really important increases were those we saw in the participant's functional ability.

"For this age group these increases are what allows them to keep successfully climbing stairs and getting out of chairs, thereby allowing them to retain their independence."

He said the results of the research were so successful they were adopted into the popular UQ Sport's AgeFIT program, which aims to promote the physical well-being of older adult through resistance exercise.

Source: Research Australia

Explore further: Patient awareness of health care report cards gradually increases

Related Stories

Key to longevity of imperial Roman monuments

Dec 16, 2014

No visit to Rome is complete without a visit to the Pantheon, Trajan's Markets, the Colosseum, or the other spectacular examples of ancient Roman concrete monuments that have stood the test of time and the ...

Recommended for you

Ozone air pollution could harm women's fertility

1 hour ago

Many urban and suburban areas have high levels of ground-level ozone, an air pollutant that can adversely affect lung and heart health. New research in mice suggests breathing high levels of ozone could also affect women's ...

Exercise can outweigh harmful effects of air pollution

3 hours ago

New research from the University of Copenhagen has found that the beneficial effects of exercise are more important for our health than the negative effects of air pollution, in relation to the risk of premature ...

Morocco confronts abortion taboo with proposed reform

5 hours ago

It was just 7 a.m. and Hoda was walking alone to a clinic in the Moroccan coastal city of Agadir. She skipped breakfast: the Senegalese doctor had told her that the abortion would be better done on an empty ...

Physician/Pharmacist model can improve mean BP

Mar 27, 2015

(HealthDay)—A physician/pharmacist collaborative model can improve mean blood pressure (BP), according to a study published online March 24 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.