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  • Author: Miriam E. Nelson x
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Miriam E. Nelson, William L. Haskell and Mary Kennedy

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Rebecca A. Seguin, Christina D. Economos, Ruth Palombo, Raymond Hyatt, Julia Kuder and Miriam E. Nelson

Background:

Despite the recognized health benefits, few older women participate in strength-training exercises.

Methods:

The purpose of this study was to examine factors related to older women’s adherence to strength training after participation in the Strong Women Program, a nationally disseminated community program. Adherence was defined as ≥4 months of twice-weekly strength training. Surveys were sent to 970 program participants from 23 states and to participants’ corresponding program leaders. Five-hundred fifty-seven participants responded (57%).

Results:

Of respondents who completed surveys (527), 79% (415) adhered to strength training; adherers reported a mean of 14.1 ± 9.1 months of strength training. Logistic-regression analysis revealed that exercise adherence was positively associated with age (p = .001), higher lifetime physical activity levels (p = .045), better perceived health (p = .003), leader’s sports participation (p = .028), and leader’s prior experience leading programs (p = .006).

Conclusion:

These data lend insight to factors that may be related to exercise adherence among midlife and older women.

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Elizabeth M. Haselwandter, Michael P. Corcoran, Sara C. Folta, Raymond Hyatt, Mark Fenton and Miriam E. Nelson

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Michelle M. Porter, Miriam E. Nelson, Maria A. Fiatarone Singh, Jennifer E. Layne, Christine M. Morganti, Isaiah Trice, Christina D. Economos, Ronenn Roubenoff and William J. Evans

Resistance training (RT) increases strength in older adults, but there have been few studies of long-term RT or detraining in older adults. Postmenopausal participants (51–71 years of age) were randomized to RT or a control group for Year 1. For Year 2, participants chose whether to resistance train or not. Three groups emerged: train/train (n = 8: 60 ± 4 years), train/no train (n = 11: 62 ± 3 years), or controls (n = 17; 58 ± 6 years). Both training groups increased strength (p < .05) in Year 1. In Year 2, train/train maintained strength, whereas train/no train lost strength for knee extension (p < .001) but not for arm pulldown. Controls did not change. Reported physical activity levels were significantly increased in trainers in Year 1 and remained high regardless of RT in Year 2 (p < .05). Therefore, sustained changes in strength and physical activity behavior might be possible even if RT is discontinued.

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Michael P. Corcoran, Miriam E. Nelson, Jennifer M. Sacheck, Kieran F. Reid, Dylan Kirn, Roger A. Fielding, Kenneth K.H. Chui and Sara C. Folta

This cluster-randomized trial was designed to determine the efficacy of a 6-month exercise-nutritional supplement program (ENP) on physical function and nutritional status for older adults and the feasibility of implementing this program in a senior living setting. Twenty senior-living facilities were randomized to either a 3 day per week group-based ENP led by a trained facility staff member or a health education program (SAP). Participants (N = 121) completed a short physical performance battery, 400-m walk, handgrip strength test, and mini-nutrition assessment. 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], insulin-like growth-factor 1 (IGF-1), and activity level were also measured. The ENP did not significantly improve physical function or nutritional status compared with the SAP. Compared with baseline, participants in the ENP engaged in 39 min less physical activity per week at 6 months. Several facility characteristics hindered implementation of the ENP. This study highlights the complexity of implementing an evidence-based program in a field setting.