Study finds seniors benefit from muscle training


February 10, 2012

Study finds seniors benefit from muscle training More research shows that seniors who regularly exercise tend to live better for longer than elders who become inactive with age. A recent study, conducted by researchers at the University of Tras-os-Montes e Alto Duoro in Portugal and the Federal University of Rio Grande del Sur in Brazil, has found that elders who are trained in muscle strengthening might have improved mobility.

The study aimed to look at whether intense muscle training workouts designed for seniors would help to increase their strength and overall ability to get around.

From the data, scientists found that seniors who started working out on the 12-week program had increases in strength ranging from 10-30 percent within the first few weeks. Researchers point out that each elder is different and those who wish to start a muscle training routine should talk to their doctors first and then find a trainer who will adapt the workouts to fit their capabilities. Issues such as a person's aerobic physical strength, joint mobility and motor skills should be addressed before working out.

A recent National Institute on Aging survey found that only 30 percent of participants ages 45 to 64 "engage in regular leisure-time physical activity," while this rate dropped to 25 percent among people age 65-74.

Seniors aging in place who are looking to start a new exercise regimen should begin slow. Elder living alone might also want to install a senior alert system in their homes as they can wear the device while working out and have access to help should they fall.