Importance of Maintaining Muscle Mass

The new study evaluates walking vs. weight lifting for weight loss among overweight seniors.

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the long-term effects of exercise modality during weight loss on body composition and associations between body composition and physical function changes.

METHODS:

Two hundred forty-nine older adults (66.9 ± 4.7 years, 71% women, 32% African American, BMI: 34.4 ± 3.7 kg/m2 ) were randomized to weight loss (WL; n = 82), WL plus aerobic training (WL + AT; n = 86), or WL plus resistance training (WL + RT; n = 81) for 18 months. Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry-acquired body composition, 400-m walk time, and knee extensor strength were measured at baseline and at 6 and 18 months.

RESULTS:

Total body mass loss was enhanced when WL was combined with exercise (WL: -5.7 ± 0.7 kg, WL + AT: -8.5 ± 0.7 kg, WL + RT: -8.7 ± 0.7 kg; P < 0.01). Total body fat mass loss was significantly greater in WL + AT (-6.8 ± 0.6 kg, -16.4%) and WL + RT (-7.8 ± 0.5 kg, -19.0%) than WL (-4.8 ± 0.6 kg, -10.9%); both P < 0.01. Lean mass loss was greatest in WL + AT (-1.6 ± 0.3 kg, -3.1%) compared with WL + RT (-0.8 ± 0.3 kg, -1.5%) or WL (-1.0 ± 0.3 kg; -2.0%); both P ≤ 0.02. Change in 400-m walk time was associated with change in fat mass (β/SD = +6.1 s; P < 0.01), while change in knee extensor strength was associated with change in lean mass (β/SD = +1.6 Nm; P < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS:

WL + RT results in less lean mass lost than WL + AT; WL plus exercise yields greater fat mass loss than WL alone.

 

Publimed: Effect of Exercise Type During Intentional Weight Loss on Body Composition in Older Adults with Obesity.

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