After doing specific training for 12 weeks, people over the age of 90 improved their strength, power and muscle mass
Results were reflected in the increase of walking speed, a greater capacity to get out of chairs, improvement on balance, significant reduction of falls and significant improvement in muscle power and mass in the lower limbs.
These are some of the outcomes of the study recently published in the journal Age of the American Aging Association and which was led by Mikel Izquierdo-Redín, Professor of Physiotherapy at the NUP/UPNA-Public University of Navarre.
Twenty-four people between 91 and 96 years old participated in the research, 11 of them in the experimental group and 13 in the control group.
Twice a week over a 12-week period they did multicomponent training: a programme of various exercises designed specifically for them and which combined strength training and balance improving exercises. As Mikel Izquierdo explained, “the training raised their functional capacity, lowered the risk of falls, and improved muscle power. In addition to the significant increase in the physical capacity of frail elderly people, the study has shown that power training can be perfectly applied to the elderly with frailty.”
With aging, the functional capacity of the neuromuscular, cardiovascular and respiratory system progressively diminish, and it increases the risk of frailty. Physical inactivity is one of the fundamental factors that contributes to the loss of muscular mass and functional capacity.
The conclusions of the study are:
Implementing exercises for muscle power, balance and walking in the elderly routine can prevent the impact of aging and improve quality of life.
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