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Seniors Who Exercise Help Their Health
Date:1/29/2009

In study, aerobics, resistance training lowered risk of insulin resistance, improved motor function

THURSDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Sedentary seniors can improve their motor function and decrease their risk for insulin resistance by starting an exercise program that includes both aerobics and resistance training, new Canadian research suggests.

"For a long time, the standard recommendation for people of moderate age -- those under 65 -- has been 150 minutes a week of aerobic type activity," noted study co-author Robert Ross, a professor in the school of kinesiology and health studies at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. "But for older adults, we haven't had a standard, and there has been little evidence to base guidelines on."

"So now we have found, as a first-time observation, that elderly men and women whose objective is to manage their blood sugar, reduce both diabetic and cardiovascular risk, and simultaneously maintain an ability to live independently, should do both aerobic and resistance training."

On a weekly basis, this optimal training formula would be comprised, said Ross, of 90 minutes of simple aerobics -- such as walking -- alongside 60 minutes of resistance exercise of some kind.

Ross and his colleagues reported on their work -- funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research -- in the Jan. 26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The authors pointed out that elderly Americans currently comprise about 12 percent of the country's population -- a figure set to rise to about 20 percent by 2030.

They further underscored the fact that the risk for developing insulin resistance -- a pre-diabetic condition in which the body does not properly utilize the hormone insulin to break down food sugars -- has long been associated with growing older.

Ross and his team also noted that American Heart Association and the American College of Sports M
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