The purpose of this scientific research paper is to examine the effects of regular exercise and weight training on the aging process.
In today’s day in age, it is not surprising to see Nana pumping iron. Exercise is becoming increasingly more popular for people over 60 to partake in, and with all the benefits it offers, it is no wonder why! After thorough examination of countless studies related to this topic, it is quite obvious that exercising is great for older adults.
Age can naturally bring muscle degeneration and strength reduction, declination in the function of our immune system, decrease in visual abilities, mental changes, and arthritis – oh, the list goes on! However, it is possible to minimize these effects and prolong our life by staying healthy and exercising.
Exercise has been shown to help lower blood pressure, lower the risks of falls and serious injuries, and slow the body's loss of muscle and bone mass, among other advantages (Lakatta EG, abstract). It is a great way to keep older people active, and lengthen their life expectancy. Additionally, older adults who exercise are more independent, and are therefore, more physically fit to do things that others their age cannot; for example, lifting heavy objects or climbing the stairs. A long-term strength-training program not only increases independent-function skills, it “aids in prolonging functional independence [as well]” (Brandon LJ et al., abstract). Simple tasks will no longer be a problem for the elderly.
However, older adults who are exercising should do so in moderation so as to not over exert themselves and cause injury. With the correct knowledge and know-how, the elderly can exercise safely and effectively and live a longer and more independent life.
Though there are some drawbacks that go hand and hand with aging and we have no control over, there are other shortcomings that can be prevented and controlled with a little help from exercise.
In a study, by S. Karinkanta, how a multi-component exercise schedule helped prevent elderly women from functional decline and bone fragility was tested. A combination of strength, balance, agility and jumping training was said to assist with these problems and postpone the age-related functional problems. The controlled exercise took 149 healthy women, aged 70-78 years old, and randomly assigned them into four different groups: resistance training (RES), balance/jumping training (BAL), resistance-balance-jumping training (COMB), and controls (CON). Various aspects were measured, and conclusively, strength, balance, agility, and jumping training (especially combined) prevented declination in functional elderly women. Additionally, these tests indicated that exercises might also help prevent bone fragility (Karinkants S et al., abstract).
In another study by S. Karinkanta, the factors that are associated with balance and health-related quality of life in elderly women, was examined. General health and physical activity of 152 healthy women of the average age of 72 was measured. Following this, agility, postural sway, maximal isometric strength of the leg, and dynamic muscle strength of the lower limbs were all measured using varying types of tests. The results of this test emphasized the concept that good muscle strength in lower limbs is crucial for proper body balance and that dynamic balance is a predictor of a standardized quality of life estimate (Karinkanta S at al., abstract).
Fujita K and his fellow researchers examined the effects of exercise training on physical activity in older people. The purpose of the study was to investigate if subjects, who partook in a six-month exercise-training program, could maintain the increase in physical activity in their daily lives. The 62 men and women involved in the study were divided into a control group or an exercise group, and went through a 56-week...
Cited: “Exercise: effects on physical functional performance in independent older adults.” J Gerontol A Biol Med Sci. 1999 May;54(5):M242-8. (Abstract).
“Functional-task exercise versus resistance strength exercise to improve daily function in older women: a randomized, controlled trial.” J Am Geriatr Soc. 2005 Jan;53(1):2-10. (Abstract).
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