Weight Training Boosts Strength

Weight training is a good way for seniors to maintain muscle mass and shift any surplus body fat, now results of a recent study suggest that women gain extra benefits from working out with weights. For the study men and women aged 61 to 77 took part in a resistance training program thrice weekly for 25 weeks. At the end of the study both men and women had increased their muscle strength by 15% and 16% respectively, and lost roughly 4.4 pounds of body fat. However, the women had also lost approximately 15 cubic centimeters of fat from their abdomen, whereas the men actually gained abdominal fat. Carrying excess abdominal weight is linked to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and death. Thus, suggesting that weight training could help women reduce their risk of death and certain diseases. The authors stress that the results should not discourage men from taking up or continuing with resistance training as maintaining muscle strength helps seniors stay active and keep their independence.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 2002; 34:1023-1028