(Natural News) The older a person gets, the more benefits he gets from physical workouts.
A Finnish study demonstrated that people over 65 years of age enjoy better overall health after taking up resistance training at least once a week. Interestingly, the participants did not need to work out very often to enjoy the benefits of physical exercise. Once-a-week sessions of resistance training sufficed to enhance various aspects of their health throughout the trial.
Bi-weekly workouts achieved the best effects. Furthermore, people with poorer health derived the greatest amount of health benefits from physical exercise.
Older people who did resistance training every week experienced increases in muscular strength. They also displayed improvements in their cardiac health, cholesterol and inflammatory levels, and systolic blood pressure. Last but not least, their mental health also improved.
“We found that individuals who were close to having high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood glucose, or high levels of inflammation improved the most after our 9-month training program,” remarked University of Jyvaskyla researcher Dr. Simon Walker. “Training two or three times per week didn’t provide greater benefit in these individuals.” (Related: Is faster better? How short, intense workouts can help you lose weight quickly.)
Older and less healthy people benefit a lot from regular sessions of strength training
Walker and his colleagues examined the effects of different regularities of resistance training on body composition, inflammation markers, and lipid and glycemic profiles in older people. They divided their participants into four groups with one control and the others going through resistance training either once, twice, or thrice a week.
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The age of the participants ranged from 65 to 75 years. Under the supervision of experts, they took up whole-body strength training for six months.
Before and after a session of resistance training, the Jyväskylä researchers measured the body fat present in the participants. They also took fasting blood samples for analysis of blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease markers, and inflammatory molecule levels.
The researchers reported that total and abdominal fat masses of the participants changed over time for all physical resistance groups. They also found considerable reductions in fat mass and bad cholesterol concentrations in the thrice-a-week exercise group.
All training groups displayed considerable improvements in the levels of good cholesterol. Meanwhile, the values for interleukin-6, high-sensitivity c-reactive protein, and systolic blood pressure went down.
Interleukin-6 regulates inflammatory responses in the body. High-sensitivity c-reactive protein, on the other hand, serves as an indicator of cardiac disease risk.
Weekly resistance training makes your body and mind feel better
Most health experts urge people to take up resistance training at least twice a week. The results of the Jyvaskyla experiment confirmed the wisdom of this advice.
The more a person trains, the more he bolsters his strength, encourages his muscles to grow, and loses unhealthy fat.
The Jyväskylä researchers also evaluated overall health by way of psychological tests. They added that resistance training enhanced the mental well-being of the participants.
They also noted a connection between the psychological effects of physical exercise on a patient and the motivation to continue working out. People who felt better thanks to resistance training chose to keep training regularly after the trial came to an end.
Walker concluded that older people stand to benefit from resistance training. Working out once a week was not only doable but also more than sufficient to make them healthier.
“We need to remember that these individuals trained hard, and safely, when they were with us,” he noted. “We supervised every training session closely, making sure that they used correct technique and also ensured that they always tried to improve their training loads compared with previous training sessions.”