Seniors who want to lose weight should hit the weight room while they cut calories, a new study suggests.
Older folks who performed resistance training while dieting were able to lose fat but still preserve most of their lean muscle mass, compared with those who walked for exercise, researchers report.
“The thought is if you lose too much lean mass, that this will exacerbate risk of disability in older adults,” said lead researcher Kristen Beavers, an assistant professor of health and exercise science at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. “Our findings show if your treatment goal is to maximize fat loss and minimize lean mass loss, then the resistance training is probably the way to go.”
We’ve know for a while that resistance training helps preserve muscle mass in younger folks during weight-loss programs. I’ve always figured the principle applied to older folks, too. It’s good to have proof. Average age of these study participants was 67.