Overweight but Frail Seniors Benefit from Aerobics and Strength Training June 19, 2017 10:34

Heavy seniors who want to lose pounds safely shouldn’t skip strength training or aerobics, says a study published June 14th by the New England Journal of Medicine.

More than a third of Americans ages 65 and older are obese. Obesity can make the elderly vulnerable to medical problems, but losing weight can worsen frailty by hastening muscle and bone loss.

The researchers randomized 40 adults to each of four interventions: aerobic exercise, resistance exercise, combination aerobic/resistance, and control.

A total of 141 participants completed the study, and baseline demographic characteristics were similar among the groups.

All exercised three times a week. A control group didn’t diet or exercise and only attended monthly nutrition classes.

After six months, the ‘exercise/nutrition groups had lost weight, about 19 pounds on average.

The health differences showed up in follow-up testing where participants did a series of nine tasks including picking up a penny, standing up from a chair and climbing stairs.

“You get more bang for your buck with doing both types of training, especially when it comes to improving frailty scores,” said Dr. Lawrence Appel of Johns Hopkins University.