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  • Author: Margie E. Lachman x
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Kelly A. Cotter and Margie E. Lachman

Background:

Physical activity is an essential ingredient in the recipe for successful aging, yet physical activity engagement declines with advancing age.

Methods:

In a national sample of 3848 participants aged 32 to 84 (55% women), we examined potential psychosocial moderators of the relationship between age and physical activity.

Results:

In a cross-sectional hierarchical multiple regression analysis [Adj. R 2 = .14, F(10, 3546) = 57.10, P < .001] we found that participants reporting higher education (β = .08), higher social support (β = .05), higher social strain (β = .12), and a higher sense of control (β = .09) were significantly more physically active. Furthermore, 2 significant interactions showed that higher education and higher social strain were associated with higher physical activity in older adulthood, suggesting that social strain and education may protect against age-related declines in physical activity.

Conclusions:

Social strain may positively influence adaptive health promoting behaviors. Potential pathways are considered.

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Shevaun D. Neupert, Margie E. Lachman and Stacey B. Whitbourne

The current study examined exercise self-efficacy and exercise behavior during and after a strength-training intervention program with older adults. A model with cross-lagged and contemporaneous paths was tested with structural equations. Within testing occasions, higher physical resistance was related to greater beliefs in efficacy and control over exercise. At 3 months into the intervention, those who had higher physical resistance were less likely to show subsequent changes in beliefs. Those who had higher self-efficacy and control beliefs at 6 months were more likely to report that they were still exercising at 9 and 12 months after the intervention. Findings indicate that exercise self-efficacy and exercise behavior are associated with one another and that beliefs developed during an intervention are important for maintenance of an exercise regimen.

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Margie E. Lachman, Shevaun D. Neupert, Rosanna Bertrand and Alan M. Jette

The authors examined whether resistance training has an effect on working memory span. Participants included 210 community-residing older adults with at least one disability from the Strong for Life program, a randomized controlled trial that examined the effects of home-based resistance exercise. Memory was assessed with the WAIS backward digit span at baseline and 3 and 6 months into the intervention. Although there were no differences between the experimental treatment and control groups in average levels of memory change, within the treatment group change in resistance level during the intervention was a significant predictor of memory change, controlling for age, education, sex, and disability level. The results suggest that strength training can benefit memory among older adults, especially when using higher resistance levels.