18/02: Strength Training Reduces Symptoms of Chronic Diseases
Research shows that strengthening exercises are both safe and beneficial to people of all ages. Strength training is perhaps most beneficial for those who have chronic health issues such as heart disease or arthritis. Strengthening exercises can relieve or reduce the signs and symptoms of numerous conditions including diabetes, obesity, osteoarthritis, back pain, and depression.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Tufts University conducted a strength training program with older adults who had moderate to severe knee osteoarthritis. Results from their study showed that the regular exercise decreased pain by 43%, increased muscle strength and general physical performance, as well as decreased disability from the disease. In addition, the CDC noted that similar results have been found with people who have rheumatoid arthritis.
Also, older adults are more prone to falls due to poor balance and limited flexibility. In some cases, falls lead to fractures which may result in disability or even death. Strengthening exercises can improve balance and flexibility. A New Zealand study which involved women 80 years of age found a 40% reduction of falls when they performed simple strength training exercises.
Studies have also shown that lifestyle changes such as strength training have a significant impact on helping older adults manage their diabetes. In a study of Hispanic men and women, 16 weeks of strength training produced dramatic improvements in glucose control that are comparable to taking diabetes medication.
If you are interested in learning more about strength training to reduce symptoms of chronic disease and improve balance and flexibility, plan on attending the Strong Women/Strong Seniors program. Strong Women/Strong Seniors is designed for adults 40 and over and includes one hour of strength training exercises twice a week along with some nutritional information. Participants are given a physical assessment before and after the 12-week program to determine how they have improved in strength and functional fitness.
Penn State Extension, Franklin County, is offering six Strong Women/Strong Seniors programs:
Mondays and Wednesdays from March 5-April 11 from 9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m. at the New Guilford Brethren in Christ Church in Fayetteville;
Tuesdays and Thursdays from February 28- April 5 from 10:00 a.m.-11:00a.m. at the 4th Street Church of the Brethren in Chambersburg;
Tuesdays and Thursdays from February 20 – March 28 from 9:00a.m.-10:00a.m. at the Memorial Lutheran Church in Shippensburg;
Mondays and Wednesdays from February 6- March 14 from 5:45p.m.-6:45p.m.at the Montessori Academy in Chambersburg.
The cost of the 6 week/12 class program is $50.00.
For more information, call Penn State Extension at 717-263-9226. To register, call toll free 1-877-489-1398 or visit http://extension.psu.edu/events to register.
Walk-ins are welcome at any time during the session.