A year of strength training can provide years of benefits for seniors, study finds

Strength training helped prevent seniors from gaining visceral fat, the study said.
Posted at 10:43 AM, Jun 19, 2024

A new study out of Denmark shows that strength training at an older age can provide years of benefit.

According to the study published in BMJ on Tuesday, 12 months of heavy resistance training can provide benefits years later. The study included adults 64–75 years of age.

Researchers said they measured seniors' bone and muscle strength and levels of body fat one year, two years and four years into the study. According to researchers, leg strength was still preserved three years later among those who had heavy resistance training, but fell in the moderate intensity training and comparison groups.

Researchers added that levels of visceral body fat remained the same three years later among those who had moderate or heavy resistance training but increased in the comparison group.

"This study provides evidence that resistance training with heavy loads at retirement age can have long-term effects over several years," the authors wrote. "The results, therefore, provide means for practitioners and policy-makers to encourage older individuals to engage in heavy resistance training.”

Examples of strength and resistance training include weight, body weight, or resistance band exercises.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults over age 65 get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity, or 75 minutes at vigorous intensity, of weekly exercise. The CDC said that two days of activities should include exercises that strengthen muscles.

"Physical activity can prevent or delay many of the health problems that seem to come with age. It also helps your muscles grow stronger so you can keep doing your day-to-day activities without becoming dependent on others," the CDC said.

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