Researchers from the University of Buffalo looked at 46 women across two different age ranges, 60-74 and 75-90, to learn how physical activity affects frailty differently in the two groups. Researchers found that there was a larger difference between the two groups in terms of muscle strength and endurance among those who were very physically active. The study found that older women who engage in a high level of daily physical activity may be able to reverse certain markers of aging, such as slow walking and decreased function.
Resistance training, in particular, can preserve muscle strength and endurance, if started at a younger age. It appears that committing to regular exercise is not yet a standard part of older women’s lifestyles and is instead a reactive behavior to, for example, falls or illness.
Many women said they stay active by doing light housekeeping or light gardening, and while that is better than nothing, it may not be enough to counteract the effects of aging on the body.
“But for women over the age of 75, muscle strength and endurance declines.
Starting resistance exercise when they are young and continuing it is important so
that when they reach a very advanced age they have already
built up their strength and endurance reserves,”
The researchers advise women to walk more and consult a physical therapist or trainer to learn about exercises that will build muscle strength and endurance.