New research published in Age shows that exercise can have a significant positive impact on older seniors. Scientists recruited adults age 91-96 and divided them into a non-exercise control group and a multi-component exercise group. The primary focus was to learn how exercise would impact “muscle power output, muscle mass, and muscle tissue weakening; the risk of falls; and functional outcomes in frail nonagenarians.”
At baseline, subjects completed several tests to measure their strength, power, balance and gait. Sit-to-stand ability and injury rates were observed, as were lower-extremity muscle mass and muscle fat infiltration.
By the end of the study, the exercise group participants had improved on all counts. The intervention group showed significantly improved (time-up-and-go) with single and dual tasks, rise from a chair and balance performance, and a reduced incidence of falls. In addition, the intervention group showed enhanced muscle power and strength. Moreover, there were significant increases in the total and high-density muscle cross-sectional areas in the intervention group.
The authors concluded that strength, power, balance and gait training should be recommended to older seniors as a means of improving health and reducing injury risk.Resource: IDEA Fitness Journal