A study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports on the emotional impact of lifting weights suggests this regimen could improve motivation and confidence in older adults, reports the New York Times.
For the study, 81 men and women between the ages of 65 and 75 agreed to start twice-weekly, supervised, full-body resistance training.
Three months later, they were randomly assigned to continue training once, twice, or three times a week, while a separate, untrained cohort were controls.
After six months, subjects lifting weights had mostly gained strength and improved various markers of their health, even if they had lifted only once a week.
They were then left to continue the regimen on their own. Twelve months after the formal study’s conclusion, nearly half the volunteers — rather than 30 percent as originally forecast — were still lifting weights at least once weekly.
Subjects whose self-efficacy had climbed significantly during the study tended to maintain the workout.