Research findings published in the Journal of Applied Physiology report that exercise is as important as cutting calories for older adults looking to lose weight.
The small study of 34 adults in their 50’s and 60’s found that both dieters and exercisers lost weight, however the exercisers did so while maintaining muscle mass, strength and fitness levels, while dieters showed declines in these measures. This is especially important for older adults since muscle mass and cardiovascular fitness tend to decline with age.
The study, performed by researchers at Saint Louis University is based on a one year follow up period. Dieters had weekly meetings with a dietitian while the exercise group met with a trainer once per week.
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