Should Weight Training Be Part of Your Care Home’s Activities Programme?

As unlikely as it seems, scientists have suggested that lifting weights could be a useful intervention in improving strength, balance and co-ordination in older people so maybe it’s time to give it some thought?

The scientists from University College Dublin (UCD) analysed the findings of 46 studies, involving almost 16,000 participants and found that regular exercise with light weights, combined with increased protein intake was an effective way of increasing lean muscle mass and reducing frailty.

Following the study, GPs are being urged to prescribe this combination, including 20-25 minutes of resistance training, four times a week to their older patients.

The UCD study suggested that any exercise that causes a muscle to struggle can force it to adapt and become stronger, leading to improved strength and muscle mass.

This approach, combined with increased protein intake, either in the form of adjustments to diet or the use of food and drink supplements can make a significant difference to general wellbeing, mobility and independence.