Monday, May 14, 2018

The Critical Importance Of Weight Training


The Study
In this investigation, 160 obese men and women aged 65 or older were put on a low-calorie weight loss diet for 6 months. All of the subjects had mild to moderate frailty, which was defined by a test called The Physical Performance Test. Subjects were randomized to 1 of 4 groups; aerobic exercise, resistance training, a combination of aerobic and resistance exercise and a control group. The aerobic and resistance exercise sessions lasted 40 minutes and were completed 3 times per week. 

By the end of follow-up, body weight had decreased by 9% in all exercise groups. Other results were very interesting:

-The combination group significantly increased Physical Performance Test scores compared to the other groups.

-Peak oxygen consumption increased more in the combination and aerobic group than in the resistance group.

-Strength increased more in the combination and the resistance groups than in the aerobic group.

-Lean body mass decreased less in the combination and resistance group than in the aerobic group.

-Bone mineral density decreased less in the resistance and combination group than in the aerobic group. The New England Journal of Medicine 2017; 376:1943

Take Home Message
It is abundantly clear that the combination group showed the most improvement in functionality. The benefits of adding resistance training to your weight loss and cardio programs are undeniable. Perhaps the biggest benefit is that weight training reduces the decrease in lean body mass that occurs with weight loss. This makes it much easier to maintain your weight loss long-term.

Resistance training also has tremendous functional health benefits. While this is true for all of us, it is especially true for older adults, since most of the loss of functionality due to aging is related to the loss of muscle mass. It is really important for all adults to hit the weights at least twice per week. This is especially true for older adults.



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