For Older Women, Exercising Once a Week Can Reap Big Benefits
Ever wondered if exercise is more about quantity or quality? A recent Canadian study indicates that women who engaged in a weekly strength training program are more likely to show improvement in their physical and mental abilities than those who engaged in a bi-weekly strength training program.
Strength training routines incorporated dumbbells, resistance bands, weight machines and free-form exercises. The study was comprised of 155 women who were randomly divided into the following three strength training groups: weekly, bi-weekly as well as a control group that exercised twice a week without weight lifting. After the twelve month program was completed, it was found that both of the strength training groups demonstrated an increase in cognitive ability, including decision-making and conflict resolution skills. Results from similar tests performed a year later on the two strength training groups led to the surprising finding: members of the weekly strength training group demonstrated long-term mental and physical benefits while those in the bi-weekly group did not.
But why is this the case? Lead author, Teresa Liu-Ambrose, suggests that the reason behind the difference is that weekly participants had an easier time keeping up the exercise program than their bi-weekly counterparts. After all, she notes, it is more important to stick with an exercise routine for a longer period than to exercise more frequently for a shorter period.
While exercise for some may be spending hours on end in the gym, according to this study, going to the gym once or twice a week consistently has the same benefits.