We have a friend who complains that he has a “metal disorder.” (That’s metal without an “n.”) “I have silver in my hair, gold in my teeth, and lead in my pants,” he quips with a twinkle in his eye. For those of you with a similar affliction, listen up.
A team of researchers at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada found that doing both aerobic and strength-training exercises while maintaining a healthy diet significantly reduced health risks and improved ability to live independently in people between the ages of 60 and 80. Yes, you have heard this before.
What is unique about this study is that it tested the effects of the aerobic and strength-training activities independently and in combination. Some participants did aerobic exercise such as walking (30 minutes/5 days a week), some did resistance exercise (20 minutes/3 days a week) and some did both (90 minutes of aerobic and 60 minutes of resistance exercises each week). Of course, there was a control group that did not exercise.
After six months the aerobic exercise and combination exercise groups improved fitness and health risks. Changes produced by resistance training alone were not significant. But all forms of physical activity – aerobic, strength-training, and especially a combination of the two – significantly improved physical function, a measure closely associated with independent living in older adults.
So while burning calories through aerobic and resistance type physical activities won’t do anything for the silver in your hair and the gold in your teeth, it will certainly help to get the lead out of your pants. And reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
How do you get the lead out??
Davidson LE, Hudson R, Kilpatrick K, et al. Effects of exercise modality on insulin resistance and functional limitation in older adults: a randomized controlled trial. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2009;169(2):122-31.