Modest Weight Training Improves Bone Strength in Older Men, Women
This nice thing about this article is that it really stresses how much a simple exercise program can impact the health of our elderly. I know that in my office, the patients that exercise regularly (strength training and aerobic) are in overall much better health–better mobility and less (if any medication) use.
24th annual meeting of the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research
A modest weight training program done twice a week helps improve bone mineral density (BMD) in older men and women, according to findings presented here at the 24th annual meeting of the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research. The study involved 49 men and 78 women between the ages of 60 to 71 years, who were assigned to several different training regimens for a total of 40 weeks of training. Participants exercised either two or three times a week, and lifted either heavier loads with fewer repetitions or lighter loads with more repetitions. According to Dr. Micahel Bemben of the University of Oklahoma, if subjects lifted 40% of their strength, they did 16 repetitions in three sets, and if they lifted 80% of their strength, they did eight repetitions in three sets. Subjects were matched in terms of the amount of work done in each training session. Results at 40 weeks showed that men responded to the training with a significant increase in BMD of the spine and both men and women had significant increases in hip BMD. Total body BMD also increased significantly in women at the end of the 40-week training program. Participants also had “big improvements” in their strength such that at the end of 40 weeks, “they were lifting a fair amount of weight,” Dr. Bemben said. “We think older people have more time but they are just as busy as younger people if not busier, and at least for bone data, it didn’t seem to matter whether they exercised two or three times a week or whether they worked with high loads or load loads,” Dr. Bemben. “So it’s probably fair to say that you could hope to see at least maintenance [of bone strength] lifting lighter loads at 40% of your strength, twice a week.”