Study Finds Older Women Live Longer And Stay Healthier With The Right Exercise Routine - Save Our Bones

Resistance training, also known as strength training, is a form of exercise that applies resistance to muscular contraction to build strength and add muscle mass.

While the benefits of resistance training have long been recognized for men, studies have recently highlighted its potential benefits for women.

In this article, we’ll review two studies, one that reveals how resistance training can stave off age-related conditions like sarcopenia and bone loss and a second study that links stronger muscles to a longer life.

Resistance Training Helps Older Women Stay Strong And Functionally Fit

A meta-analysis published in the journal Women discovered that resistance training effectively assists older women in building and maintaining strength and functional fitness. The review included 38 studies of the health impact of resistance training among 2,519 women between the ages of 45 and 80 years.

Resistance training interventions ranged in length from 8 to 32 weeks, with an average of 15 weeks. The exercise programs comprised between 16 to 96 sessions amounting to a total of 462 to 4,320 minutes of exercise duration.

Before and after these interventions, researchers gathered data on participants' body composition, muscle strength, and functional fitness.

The meta-analysis revealed that most studies which examined d for increases in muscle mass, lean body mass, and fat-free mass, reported positive results with resistance training.

Most studies measured participants' functional fitness with the timed up-and-go test, the 30-second chair stand, and walking and gait speed. Measures used less frequently included floor get-up time, static balance, vertical jump, and stair ascent. Overwhelmingly, these studies demonstrated that resistance training improved participants' functional fitness.

The study authors provided valuable details about the common traits of effective interventions:

“All of the studies reviewed included interventions that were more than 8 weeks in duration. In addition, most utilized multiple sets, exercises and repetitions, which were quantified as participant exposure. This could be one reason why the studies reviewed in this paper overwhelmingly found positive increases in muscle mass, muscle strength and functional fitness. It is well documented that exercise dose is related to the amount of positive change”

You can apply these findings to your own exercise regimen. Building muscle strength and mass prevents the development of sarcopenia, which is the loss of muscle mass with age. Sarcopenia is linked to negative age-related health outcomes, including osteoporosis.

Synopsis

A meta-analysis of 38 studies found that resistance training interventions lasting more than 8 weeks and utilizing multiple sets, exercises, and repetitions were effective at increasing muscle mass, muscle strength, and functional fitness among older women.

Muscle-Strengthening Activities Reduce Risk of Death

A systematic review published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine evaluated the findings of 16 studies exploring the relationship between muscle-strengthening activities and health outcomes.

The studies included men and women from ages 18 to 97, and the studies ranged in size from 3,809 to 479,856 participants.

While different studies focused on different outcomes, they all looked at the impact of muscle-strengthening exercise. Collectively, they associated muscle-strengthening activities with a 10–17% lower risk of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

Researchers observed that participants obtained maximum risk reduction for these outcomes at 30 to 60 minutes per week of muscle-strengthening activities. The study authors also noted that the combination of muscle-strengthening and aerobic activities may further reduce the risk of mortality from all causes.

Synopsis

A massive meta-analysis associated muscle-strengthening activities with a 10–17% lower risk of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Participants obtained maximum risk reduction for these outcomes at 30 to 60 minutes per week of muscle-strengthening activities.

How Increased Muscle Strength Benefits Your Bones

All the aforementioned findings positively impact bone health.

An Increase in muscle mass enhances your ability to build bone. The stress that muscle puts on your bones stimulates the bone remodeling process, so more muscle mass enables more bone regeneration.

Increases in functional fitness enable you to stay active and healthy. The ability to carry out the daily activities of your life allows you to make choices that prioritize your bone health– from cooking your own meals to taking long walks.

Muscle strength reduces the risk of mortality from all causes. That reduction in the causes of early death keeps you healthy. Good health enables you to stay on the path to stronger bones through regular exercise, a bone-healthy lifestyle, and a bone-building pH-balanced diet.

Synopsis

Resistance training increases muscle mass and strength. Muscle stimulates bone regeneration, so more muscle mass facilitates more bone-building. The health benefits of strength training also support a bone-healthy lifestyle.

What This Means To You

Resistance training has been scientifically validated to benefit older women and adults of all ages. Maintain a regular habit of strength-training exercise. You’ll avoid sarcopenia, extend your life, and build stronger bones.

Those outcomes are essential for Savers, so the Save Institute developed a tool to help you achieve them: SaveTrainer.

SaveTrainer provides customizable video workouts led by professional trainers, designed to help you build an exercise practice that you love. Resistance training is one of the many offerings available to you on SaveTrainer.

Best of all, it’s accessible anytime, anywhere, so nothing stands between you and your health goals.

References

1 https://www.mdpi.com/2673-4184/1/3/14

2 https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/56/13/755

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  1. Paula

    I run 3 miles on my treadmill 5 days a week plus walk 2 miles every day with my dog. I try to keep a healthy diet during the week and honestly I do let myself splurge on the weekends. However, every time I go for my scan, my numbers keep getting worse. I do work with a natural path & take an Ostera & other bone building supplements. Any other recommendations? I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.

  2. Linda

    How many of the True Osteo does Vivian recommend taking daily? Second question: has anyone else heard about this new trend among women to stop taking calcium of any kind (including raw/organic) and just get all their calcium from food?

  3. Adela

    I am 91 years old have been a walker all my life and to this day walk 2miles a day weather permitting. Also have done yoga for years. I believe exercise is very important.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      That’s amazing, Adela! We’re proud of you and I hope you are too 🙂

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