According to a study involving a group of Florida nursing home residents, strengthening exercises are both safe and effective for men and women of all ages.
Wayne L. Westcott, Ph.D., Gary Reinl and Donna Califano, PTA, did a study titled “Strength Training Elderly Nursing Home Patients.”
In the study, 19 Florida nursing home residents, whose average age was 88.5 years, completed a 14-week strength training program using Nautilus equipment.
They did 6 exercises – leg press, triceps press, seated row, trunk extension, neck flexion and neck extension.
They exercised twice a week, for about 20 minutes each time. However, actual strength training only lasted about 6 minutes per session.
Using standard Nautilus protocol, they did one set of 8 to 12 repetitions of each exercise.
The results were stunning!
Although the participants’ average weight increased by .8% during the study, their fat weight decreased by 9.8% and their lean weight increased by 3.8%.
Strength, as measured by improvements on the leg press, increased by 81.2% over the course of the study.
Flexibility, as shown by hip flexibility, increased by 57.8%.
Functional ability, measured in mobility distance, improved by 71.4%.
Falls decreased by 36.4% compared to pre-program frequency.
And there were no injuries.
The authors of the study concluded that a sensible and supervised strength training program helped these seniors improve body composition, muscle strength, joint flexibility and
There you have it. No matter what age we are, we can benefit from a safe and sensible weight training program with as little as 2 workouts a week.