LAS VEGAS – Sally Paulson, professor at Shippensburg University, Doug Lentz, Director of Fitness and Wellness for Results Fitness in Chambersburg, and Michelle Gray, professor at the University of Arkansas presented their research on the importance of maintaining muscle strength as we age to a packed crowd at the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s National Conference on Friday, July 11 in Las Vegas.
Lentz had developed a research-based exercise program for aging members of Results Fitness. He, Paulson and Gray wanted to study the results of this program to determine if muscle power was important as we age and if improved would it help us perform activities of daily living and lower our risk of falling.
“I asked Sally and the Exercise Science Department at Shippensburg University if they would like to partner with me in this research,” Lentz said. “Sally’s work has been published before and she is doing important things in the field. So, I was happy that she chose to join us and lead the team.”
Lentz introduced Paulson at that national conference where she explained their testing process, as well as the unique exercise plan that Lentz developed specifically to help older adults with fall prevention and improved balance.
Fifty-six older adults volunteered to complete the study. They were asked to take tests for balance, functional fitness, gait analysis, and tests on hip hinging, and power before they began the exercise classes.
The classes addressed strength, balance, power, and flexibility. Participants met twice a week for 12 weeks.
According to Paulson, the official results showed, “As one ages, muscular power decreases, which increases fall risk, and functional fitness declines. Muscular power is imperative to the ability to perform everyday activities as well as maintaining independence.”
“Our study showed that older adults with greater power walked faster and out- performed those with less power on functional fitness, which measures everyday things like walking, getting out of a chair, going up stairs, etc.”
So, what does this mean?
According to Lentz, it means that physical fitness is extremely important, especially as we age. Maintaining muscle power can help us maintain balance, which is extremely important.
“You need to make exercise a part of your routine, “Lentz explained. “Seek out a professional who has training and is educated in body mechanics and keeps up on the latest research, who can develop a program that is right for you and your goals. I develop the plans at Results Fitness in Chambersburg. I’d be happy to talk to you about your goals. The wrong training plan could cause more harm than benefit.”
To find out more about Results Fitness and the individual exercise programs offered there, call (717) 262-4650.
Doug Lentz, MS, CSCS*D, RSCC*E
Lentz is the director of Fitness at Results Fitness in Chambersburg, an affiliate of Summit Health. He has more than 30 years of experience in the health, fitness and sports training industry. Lentz is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach Emeritus (RSCC*E). He also recently earned his national-level coach certification for the sport of Olympic Weightlifting. He has trained athletes at all levels - from high school and college athletes to Olympians and has published articles in professional journals as well as written scholarly textbooks.
Summit Health is a non-profit network of hospitals and physician practices dedicated to building a healthier community. As Franklin County's leading healthcare provider, Summit Health offers family care, specialists, lab and imaging services, a fitness center, two walk-in care centers, and two award-winning hospitals. More information is available at www.SummitHealth.org and www.facebook.com/SummitHealth.