In a new study from the University of Stirling, researchers found resistance training in frail older adults is effective in delivering significant improvements in functional capacity and strength.
They found that a six-week machine-based resistance training program benefitted participants, compared to a control group.
Physical activity is an effective intervention to improve functional health status, however, prior to this study, the effect of resistance training on multidimensional health in frail older adults was unclear.
The current study focused on care home residents for a six-month period. The research team worked with 11 frail residents, aged 65 or over, at Olivet Christadelphian Care Home in Birmingham.
The group completed a six-week program, which required them to participate in resistance training on specialized exercise machines, provided by HUR Ltd, for 30–40 minutes three times per week.
The smart-activated technology starts users at near-zero resistance, increasing in small increments in line with their progress, unlike standard exercise machines.
The team major improvements in frailty and physical function—such as walking speed, functional capacity and physical confidence—in the group of frail older adults who participated in resistance training.
The researchers believe that their findings indicate that resistance training could help to tackle the negative health outcomes associated with frailty, including disability and mortality.
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The study is published in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity. One author of the study is Professor Anna Whittaker.
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