Study weighs in on best exercise for older Americans

(ABC News) — Obesity is a major threat to the health of the country, but perhaps even more so to older Americans.

In fact, more than one in three Americans age 65 and older is obese, and that additional weight can come with real health consequences.

Now, in a new study, researchers finding that the solution to the problem lies in exercise. And for those asking whether this means cardio training or weight-bearing resistance exercises, the answer is both.

A team led by Veterans Affairs researchers studied 160 obese older people, assigning them to different exercise regimens. Some followed a cardio workout plan. Some did resistance training, and some, a combination of the two.

What they found is that those who combined both exercises fared the best in terms of bone strength, lean muscle mass, and overall physical function. And while there were some potential risks of exercise like joint pain and falls, the benefits were too important to ignore.

The message to older Americans is clear. When it comes to exercise, even if you are obese, it’s never too late to start.

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