July 7, 2008
Slow Exercise Better For Menopausal Women
It's an inevitable truth: as we get older, our muscles deteriorate and we become weaker. Not only can this be an immensely frustrating change, but it can also have many other, more serious implications. We become clumsier and begin to have more falls, often resulting in broken bones or even more severe injuries. There is wide interest in this phenomenon, but to date, the majority of research has focused on therapies for older patients with advanced symptoms. Now one study, led by Dr Alexandra Sänger from the University of Salzburg, is taking a new approach: scientists are examining the effects of different exercise regimes in menopausal women, with the aim of developing new strategies for delaying and reducing the initial onset of age related muscle deterioration. Results will be presented on Monday 7th July at the Society for Experimental Biology's Annual Meeting in Marseille [Poster Session A5].
Dr Sänger's research group has investigated two particular methods of physical training. Hypertrophy resistance training is a traditional approach designed to induce muscle growth whereas 'SuperSlowÃ®' is a more recently devised system which involves much slower movement and fewer repetitions of exercises, and was originally introduced especially for beginners and for rehabilitation. "Our results indicate that both methods increase muscle mass at the expense of connective and fatty tissue, but contrary to expectations, the SuperSlowÃ® method appears to have the greatest effect," reveals Dr Sänger. "These findings will be used to design specific exercise programs for everyday use to reduce the risk of injury and thus significantly contribute to a better quality of life in old age."
* Hypertrophy resistance training is a method of strength training that is designed to induce muscle growth, also known as hypertrophy.
* SuperSlowÃ® resistance training was developed by Ken Hutchins and is based on the same principle as hypertrophy resistance training, but involves slower movement and fewer repetitions of exercises, which is thought to improve the quality of muscle contraction and thereby strength.
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