A new study has shed light on a tried-and-tested method that obese adults can turn to in order to lose weight - an effective combination of resistance and aerobic exercises. This will help reduce their insulin resistance and improve functional abilities.
According to the authors, there is an urgent need to develop effective strategies designed to manage the risk factors for disease and disability and thereby improve the overall health and quality of life of older adults.
"With respect to risk factors for disease, it is well established that aging is associated with a marked increase in insulin resistance, a primary defect that precedes serious diseases, including diabetes, stroke and coronary heart disease independent of other major cardiovascular disease risk factors," they said.
"Aging is also associated with a progressive increase in functional limitations that affect activities of daily living and quality of life and that are highly predictive of subsequent disability," they added.
For the study, the researchers led by Lance E. Davidson, Ph.D., of Queen's University, Kingsland, Ontario, Canada, and Columbia University, New York conducted a randomized clinical trial involving 136 sedentary older adults who were abdominally obese, meaning they had a waist circumference of at least 102 centimeters (40 inches) for men or 88 centimeters (35 inches) for women.
For period of six months, the participants were randomly assigned to one of four groups.
Resistance exercise which involved one set of nine exercises, 20 minutes three times per week, aerobic exercise involving 30 minutes of moderate-intensity treadmill walking five times per week and combined exercise which involved 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times per week plus 60 minutes of resistance training weekly
And fourth and the last group was the control group that did not exercise.
The results showed that insulin resistance improved in the aerobic and combined exercise groups as compared with the control group.
All exercise groups improved their functional limitation compared with the control group.
However the combined exercise group showed greater improvement than the aerobic only group.
Moreover, cardiorespiratory fitness increased in the aerobic and combined exercise groups but not in the resistance exercise group.
"That these observations were obtained in response to 90 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise combined with 60 minutes of resistance exercise performed across three days each week is promising and suggests that substantial improvement in overall health through effective management of risk factors for disease and disability can be achieved in a pragmatic manner," the authors write.
The study appears in Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.