Majid M. Syed-Abdul Ɨ1,2, Chrissa L. McClellanǂ3, Elizabeth J. Parksǂ1, Stephen D. Ballǂ1,2 1Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, 2MU-Extension, 3Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, School of Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri.

With aging, quality of life (QOL) can be negatively affected due to changes in body weight (BW), body fat (BF), lean mass (LM), bone mineral density (BMD), nerve health, and cardiovascular health - all of which may result in frailty, poor diet, lack of sleep quality, and declining memory. Incremental resistance training (iRT), in which resistance is increased progressively through successive training events, may help to improve QOL in adults. However, the effects of iRT in older adults have not been studied. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to test whether iRT will improve mental and physical characteristics that contribute to QOL in older adults. METHODS: Men and women (n=241) were screened over 2y to recruit 30 participants [age: 61.2 ± 4.2y, BMI: 31.4 ± 5.2 kg/m2] who underwent an 8-wk program of iRT. A subset [n=10, 64.9 ± 6.0y, BMI: 32.6 ± 5.7 kg/m2] also completed nerve conduction studies (NCS). Body composition, flexibility, balance, muscle strength, NCS, heart rate, blood pressure (BP), blood oxygen saturation (SpO2), pulse, and blood concentrations of aldolase, glucose and lipids were measured pre- and post-iRT. Additionally, food intake, sleep (Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index), memory (Montreal Cognitive Assessment, MoCA, and the Self-Administered Gerocognitive Evaluation, SAGE-1) and QOL surveys were administered. RESULTS: Although not the primary goal of the program, participants lost BW (mean ± SEM, 87.1 ± 4.0 to 86.0 ± 3.9 kg, P=0.001) and BF% (39.5 ± 1.3 to 38.6 ± 1.2, P=0.007) and increased LM% (57.8 ± 1.2 to 58.4 ± 1.1, P=0.04). All measurements of flexibility (P<0.01) and balance (P=0.04) improved significantly. Dominant-hand strength also tended to increase (P=0.06). Systolic BP (130 ± 3 to 125 ± 3 mmHg, P=0.02), blood glucose (117 ± 3 to 115 ± 3, P=0.05), and aldolase (6.7 ± 0.4 to 4.3 ± 0.5 U/L, P<0.001) improved significantly. BMD, lipid biochemistries and NCS did not change. Additionally, sleep (6.9 ± 1.0 to 5.9 ± 0.9, P=0.03), memory (MoCA: 26.3 ± 0.5 to 28.2 ± 0.4, P=0.001; SAGE: 19.4 ± 0.4 to 20.3 ± 0.4, P=0.04), and QOL (64.8 ± 1.7 to 69.9 ± 1.5, P=0.001) scores improved significantly. CONCLUSION: An 8-wk iRT program improves factors that contribute to QOL in older adults. Such programs should be advocated to support mental and physical function in adults as they age.

Funding: MU Extension and Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology

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