Why weight training is more important than cardio exercise for older people

A recent study found that weight training is more effective than cardio for older people.

In the study, the researchers showed that combining weight training with a low-calorie diet could preserve lean muscle mass that can be lost through aerobic workouts. Restricting calories plus weight training resulted in less muscle loss, but significant fat loss, when compared to dieting plus walking or dieting alone.

Cardio workouts caused older adults with obesity to lose more lean muscle mass than dieting alone.

These results may be even more important for older adults who gain and lose weight with frequency, because seniors typically don’t regain muscle – they regain fat mass – which is “all the more reason for older adults to try and preserve muscle mass during weight loss,” Beavers said.

See Article: Beavers et al. Effect of Exercise Type during Intentional Weight Loss on Body Composition in Older Adults with Obesity. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2017 November ; 25(11): 1823–1829.