Older people urged to get moving to a new, scientifically researched exercise DVD

October 2, 2013, University of Birmingham

While the post-Christmas period usually sees a glut of celebrity exercise DVDs hit the shops, a Birmingham researcher is launching an exercise DVD with a difference for an alternative date – Older Adults Day on Tuesday (October 1).

The DVD, has been produced in conjunction with specialist company Move It or Lose It, and is aimed specifically at adults aged 65 and above, is based on research carried out both in the US by Professor Bill Evans and by researchers at the University of Birmingham in the MRC-Arthritis Research UK Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research.

The aim of the DVD is to encourage , especially those who may be inactive due to a recent illness, to carry out a safe and fun set of exercises to preserve musculoskeletal mass and function – both of which are known to deteriorate with age and inactivity. Preserving muscle function is important, not only for fitness, strength and endurance but also to allow an older person to carry out normal daily tasks.

Professor Janet Lord, who is the director of the MRC-ARUK Centre and has developed the DVD, said "Switching to a more physically active lifestyle in older individuals could reverse the age-related deterioration in , but adoption of such changes is notoriously difficult to achieve, and therefore exercises scientifically designed specifically for an older audience are required, which is what our DVD has done".

Although it has been proven that physical activity is essential to maintain health and reduce chronic illness, cognitive decline and falls, still only 7 per cent of over 75s achieve the recommended minimum of 150 minutes per week.

Adoption of a more physically active lifestyle in could also reduce the risk of depression, and, in turn, the risk of infections acquired from a compromised immune system. Prof Lord has shown that depression caused by can lead to reduced immune function. Together with a raised level of stress hormones, this can have a detrimental impact upon immunity after hip-fracture leading to an increase in morbidity and mortality.

Prof Lord said: "We know that after an illness such as a hip fracture, older adults struggle to get back to their previous level of physical functioning. Even older adults who are not unwell find it hard to get the motivation to . This DVD uses some of the techniques we know help to motivate people to take part in exercise , such as the use of music and using older adults as demonstrators in the DVD. Following the programme will have benefits for their physical function and overall wellbeing".

Exercise strategies in the new DVD include low load eccentric resistance exercise training (RET), shown to be more effective than conventional resistance training at increasing muscle mass and strength in older people. These novel exercise interventions will be extended to older people to counteract sarcopenia (the loss of muscle mass with ageing) and osteoporosis and improve metabolic health. The exercises can all be done at home with a chair and a resistance band.

The exercises in the DVD have been devised by Prof Lord, along with the Falls and Fracture Team at the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust and Move it or Lose it, a Birmingham company which runs exercise classes to allow older people to stay mobile and maintain independence. The DVD is also designed to be an exercise plan which is easy for older people to take up initially, and adhere to in the longer term.

One of the stars of the DVD is Jenny Buchan , 71 and a retired teacher from Birmingham's Children's Hospital who spent 23 years teaching children with cancer and renal problems. Jenny joined Prof Lord's 1,000 Elders group to help with research into ageing. Participants for various studies into ageing are drawn from the group.

Jenny, fills her time with voluntary work, holidays, walking and gym visits decided to take part in the DVD to inspire others to stay active, mobile and independent.

She said: "Living longer is not always a benefit if there is no real quality to that life – but retirement is a blessing if you use your time wisely and do all the things you've always wanted to do but never had the time for."

Explore further: Researchers find depression in hip fracture patients hinders physical recovery and compromises immunity

Related Stories

Researchers find depression in hip fracture patients hinders physical recovery and compromises immunity

August 5, 2013
Older people who suffer a hip fracture should be routinely tested and treated for depression to aid their recovery and prevent their immune systems from being compromised, according to new research from the University of ...

Losing muscle power as we age: A fat molecule may be a factor in the decline of strength in older adults

August 12, 2013
As people get older, fat tissue inevitably takes up residence in their muscles, but some of that fat may be particularly damaging. A small study conducted at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) ...

Study carried out on ninety-year-olds reveals the benefits of strength training as physical exercise

September 27, 2013
After doing specific training for 12 weeks, people over the age of 90 improved their strength, power and muscle mass. This was reflected in an increase in their walking speed, a greater capacity to get out of their chairs, ...

Falls don't have to be part of getting older, experts argue

September 27, 2013
Falls are the leading cause of fatal injuries among older people, but experts from The University of Manchester argue they should not just be written off as an unavoidable consequence of ageing. According to the researchers ...

Personal goals may facilitate or hinder older adults' striving for exercise

August 28, 2013
Although exercise may significantly promote healthy aging, many older adults remain sedentary. Based on a study conducted in the Gerontology Research Center at the University of Jyväskylä, one reason for this may lie behind ...

Older adults benefit from home-based DVD exercise program

March 11, 2013
Fitness DVDs are a multimillion-dollar business, and those targeting adults over the age of 55 are a major part of the market. With names like "Boomers on the Move," "Stronger Seniors" and "Ageless Yoga," the programs promise ...

Recommended for you

Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds

January 19, 2018
A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute.

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.