As obesity increases in aging western populations, weakness – which is exacerbated by obesity – is a major health concern and high health cost. Now, researchers report July 3 in the journal Cell Metabolism that combines aerobic exercise and resistance training helps older obese people maintain muscle mass and reverse weakness as they work to lose weight. Based on a small clinical trial, the study showed that patients who performed these exercises had increased muscle protein synthesis and preserved muscle quality compared to control groups.
In a previous study, Dennis T. Villareal, professor and geriatric endocrinologist at Baylor College of Medicine, suggested that resistance training would best complement weight loss to improve physical function in older obese adults. Study participants participated in a weight management program and were randomly assigned aerobic training, resistance training or a combination of both.
Villareal and colleagues were surprised to find that combined aerobics and resistance training improved cardiovascular fitness to the same extent as aerobic exercise alone and improved muscle strength to the same extent as resistance training alone. They reported in the New England Journal of Medicine in May 201
However, it was unclear where overweight older adults have benefited in particular from aerobic exercise for cardiovascular fitness combined resistance training. In the study Cell Metabolism the researchers used molecular and cellular techniques to assess changes in their muscle protein synthesis and myocellular quality to investigate the mechanisms underlying the overweight older adult improvements in physical function and lean body mass conservation. .
A subset of participants -47 of the original 160 agreed to undergo muscle biopsies before and after six months of lifestyle intervention to see how their muscle tissue was affected. Participants were men and women on average between 69 and 72 years, and more than half were Hispanic / Latinx. Aerobic activities included treadmills, stationary cycling and stair climbing, with participants exercising about 65% of their highest heart rate; Resistance training consisted of 1 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps on nine upper body and underweight lifting machines.
"Our results showed that despite negative energy balance from diet-induced weight loss, training in older adults with obesity helps preserve muscle mass, improve physical function and reduce weakness," says Villareal.
The study found that the participants' synthesis of muscle proteins increased more with resistance training and combined aerobic resistance than in the control group. The combined aerobic resistance exercise was also associated with lower expression of genes associated with muscle atrophy and the best preservation of muscle growth regulators, as the researchers hypothesized could also play a role in promoting muscle mass retention and improvement in physical function in that group.
In older obesity, combined aerobic and resistance exercises are superior to either mode independent of maintaining muscle mass during weight loss therapy, he says. Aerobics and resistance training is the most effective strategy, and therefore Villareal, "the best approach."
Weight loss plus aerobics and resistance exercise can reduce weakness in overweight older adults
Cell Metabolism Colleluori et al., "Aerobic Plus Resistance Exercise in Obese Older Adults, improves muscle protein synthesis and retains myocellular quality despite calorie restriction" https://www.cell.com / cell metabolism / full text / S1550-4131 (19) 30311-0, DOI: 10,1016 / j.cmet.2019.06.008
How Aerobic Training and Resistance Training Maintains Muscle Mass in Overweight Older Adults (2019, July 3)
July 3, 2019
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