Health report: Health study to help the elderly with weight loss

Health Reports

Weight loss can be a tricky topic. While obesity poses serious health risks, slimming down may also lead to muscle and bone loss.

See how researchers found that adding a piece of fashion helped the elderly lose weight safely.

Joyce Jackson admits that working out used to be a foreign idea to her.

“I knew that I needed to exercise but never took the time to do it,” said Joyce Jackson, Study Participant.

That was until the 78-year-old joined a study on exercise and weight loss at Wake Forest University.

Thinking about exercise as a countermeasure to muscle and bone loss as an older adult loses weight I think is very important,” said Dr. Kristen Beavers, PHD, Assistant Professor in Health and Exercise at Wake Forest University.

Dr. Beavers studies the risks and benefits of weight loss in older adults.

“That’s because when people want to lose weight, what they want to lose is fat, but some of what you lose is muscle and bone,” said Dr. Beavers.

This can lead to fractures, but shedding fat also means improvements in function.

“They’re going to get out of this chair a little faster. They are going to walk a little faster,” said Dr. Beavers.

Dr. Beavers and her team came up with a clever way to incorporate resistance training into the study in the format of a weight vest.

“These little slats right here you can actually put little weights in here,” said Dr. Beavers.

They asked 40 seniors in the pilot study to wear the vest up to ten hours a day.

“They would just get up in the morning and put it on, wear it during their most active part of the day and then take it off,” said Dr. Beavers.

The results were pretty dramatic.

“People who wore this vest during this pilot study actually did preserve their bone especially at their hip,” said Dr. Beavers.

Bob Spontak was not part of the pilot study or the invest study, but did join one where he exercised three times a week and lost 48 pounds.

“I’m more than amazed. I’m very pleased,” said Bob Spontak, Study Participant.

Jackson worked her way up to 60 minutes on the bike three times a week.

“I started off with a little bit and you’ll see the difference,” said Jackson.

This proves that you are never too old to get moving safely.

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