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Study: Overweight older women have less leg strength, power
Date:9/19/2011

s really limiting their mobility," he says. "Being of a normal body weight lets you perform activities of daily living and live on your own longer."

Based on these findings, LaRoche suggests that normal-weight adults should work to maintain their weight and strength as they age. Older adults who are overweight can improve their strength-to-weight ratio by either losing weight or gaining strength. Perhaps surprisingly, data suggest the latter is the easier route. While most people are not successful at losing weight, "even the oldest old people can have dramatic increases in strength," says LaRoche, citing an earlier study he did (read about it here: http://www.unh.edu/news/cj_nr/2008/oct/bp23strength.cfm). The key to building strength is to fatigue the muscle with eight to fifteen repetitions, an aspect many new to weight training overlook.

LaRoche has been researching effects of strength and exercise on elderly populations for several years, but this is his first foray into the effects of obesity on this population. "I never intended to study overweight and obese elders, but it became obvious to me that being overweight is a growing and problematic concern," he says.


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Contact: Beth Potier
beth.potier@unh.edu
603-862-1566
University of New Hampshire
Source:Eurekalert

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