Join Now!      Login

Whole Person Wellness Program
 
healthy.net Wellness Model
Skip Navigation Links
 
 
FREE NEWSLETTER
   
   
   
 
Health Centers
Key Services
 
Breast Cancer?
More than three-quarters of women who get breast cancer are over whtat age?
over 40 years
over 45 years
over 50 years
over 55 years

 
 

 Strength Training For Seniors: The Facts  
 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Keeping Fit by . View all columns in series

These findings indicate that senior men and women improve their bodyweight and body composition about the same as younger adults in response to a basic program of strength and endurance exercise. It is interesting to note that the seniors developed lean (muscle) tissue at the same rate as the other program participants. Replacing muscle is essential for seniors, because sedentary individuals lose over five pounds of lean tissue every decade of adult life 16. By adding 2.4 pounds of muscle, the seniors in this study reversed almost five years of the aging process after just two months of strength training.

Blood Pressure Changes
All three age groups began the basic fitness program with similar diastolic blood pressure readings (76.1 mm Hg to 80.1 mm Hg). However, the average systolic blood pressure for the 61 to 80 year olds was considerably higher (143.1 mm Hg) than for the 41 to 60 year olds (127.9 mm Hg) and the 21 to 40 year olds (121.2 mm Hg).


Table 2. Changes in resting blood pressure for young, middle-aged and older program participants(N=785).

Age Systolic BP Pre (mm Hg) Systolic BP Post (mm Hg) Systolic BP Change
(mm Hg)
Diastolic BP Pre (mm Hg) Diastolic BP Post (mm Hg) Diastolic BP Change (mm Hg)
21-40 years
(N=144)
121.2 116.7 -4.5 76.1 72.9 -3.2
41-60 years (N=375) 127.9 125.4 -2.5 79.0 76.6 -2.4
61-80 years (N=266) 143.1 136.9 -6.2 80.1 76.4 -3.7


As presented in Table 2, all three age groups lowered their resting blood pressures as a result of the eight week exercise program. However, the seniors experienced the greatest improvement, with a 3.7 mm Hg decrease in diastolic blood pressure and a 6.2 mm Hg reduction in systolic blood pressure.

The change in systolic blood pressure was particularly important to the senior participants because they began the study above the hypertensive level (140 mm Hg), but ended within the normal range.

Discussion of Findings
The results of this relatively large research study should be encouraging news for senior men and women. Consider the following key findings for the 341 older adults who completed the eight week basic fitness program.

1. Seniors can safely participate in a well-designed and carefully-supervised program of strength exercise. There were no injuries among the senior subjects in this study. Of course, all participants should have their physician's approval before beginning an exercise program.

2. Seniors can improve their body composition. The seniors in this exercise program reduced their percent fat by 2.0% after just two months of training. This was similar to the body composition improvements attained by the younger adults.

   CONTINUED      Previous   1  2  3  4  5  Next   
 Comments Add your comment 

 About The Author
Wayne L. Westcott, Ph.D., is fitness research director at the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, MA. He is strength training consultant for numerous national organizations, such as the American Council on Exercise, the......moreWayne Westcott PhD
 
 From Our Friends
 
 
 
Popular & Related Products
 
Popular & Featured Events
Integrative Healthcare Symposium 2015
     February 19-21, 2015
     New York, NY USA
 
Wellness Inventory Certification Training (Level I)
     February 24-May 26, 2015
     Teleclass, CA USA
 
Additional Calendar Links
 
Stevia Products & Info
 
Dimensions of Wellness
Wellness, Movement, dimension!

Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Find a Practitioner       Healthy Products       Bookstore       Wellness Inventory
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Wellness Center       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Free Newsletter      What Doctor's Don't Tell You      Stevia.com      Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us
Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Are you ready to embark on a personal wellness journey with our whole person approach?
Learn More/Subscribe
Are you looking to create or enhance a culture of wellness in your organization?
Learn More
Do you want to become a wellness coach?
Learn More
Free Webinar