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Slow Exercise Shown to Benefit Menopausal Women

By Daniel H. Rasolt

Posted: Monday, July 07, 2008

(Defeat Diabetes® News) -- As one ages, strenuous exercise becomes increasingly more difficult. According to a recent study, a new exercise regimen that involves slow and deliberate movements with fewer repetitions, appears to be more beneficial for menopausal women than more conventional exercise regimens. This finding might translate over to other individuals of advanced age.
Some of the most common characteristics of the aging process, displayed to a great degree in menopausal women, are muscle deterioration and bone fragility, leading to weakness and often injury. Exercise can help stunt this development, but the fact that there is a deterioration in the muscles to begin with makes strenuous exercises less feasible: a vicious cycle that most often leads to progressive deterioration.
A recent study was conducted on groups of 45-55 year old menopausal women for 12 weeks, some performing more strenuous exercises, while the others performed slow exercises. The two specific exercise regiments the women performed were called hypertrophy resistance training and SuperSlow® resistance training. Hypertrophy (meaning muscle growth) resistance training is the more conventional approach, where relatively fast and numerous repetition are performed. This form of muscle growth training is often called weight or strength training, and encompasses general weight lifting practices. SuperSlow® performs similar tasks, such as weight lifting, but in a much slower and deliberate manner, with fewer repetitions. The purpose of each regiment is to develop muscle growth, and the study aimed to see which was more effective.
According to lead researcher Dr. Alexandra Sänger, "our results indicate that both methods increase muscle mass at the expense of connective and fatty tissue, but contrary to expectations, the SuperSlow® method appears to have the greatest effect." This finding is potentially significant in that new programs can be designed for aging individuals who otherwise find conventional exercise programs too difficult. "These findings will be used to design specific exercise programmes for everyday use to reduce the risk of injury and thus significantly contribute to a better quality of life in old age," says Dr. Sänger.
Exercise is a critical component in the prevention of not only injury and muscle deterioration, but many diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, which become more of a risk later in life. If slower, more tolerable exercises do indeed have great benefit on older people, the hope is that more people will exercise and prevent numerous debilitating conditions.

Source: Defeat Diabetes Foundation: Sänger, Alexandra. Astley, Holly. SEB news release. July 2008.

Daniel H. Rasolt writes for Defeat Diabetes® News. Read more of his original content articles.

Copyright © 2008 Defeat Diabetes Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved.

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