Recently published articles that appeared in the Oxford Journal and other medical journals have highlighted the correlation between weighted vest exercises and a reduced risk of falls in women between the ages of fifty to seventy years old. Along with this groundbreaking finding, weighted vests are good in preventing diseases commonly prevalent amongst aging women, such as osteoporosis and muscle atrophy. With the benefits scientifically proven in medical research, there is no reason why we should spend our time laying on the ground.
Why Falls Matter:
One of the major causes of death in the geriatric population is attributed to falls. Age gives way to diseases such as atrial fibrillation and myocardial infarctions (aka heart attacks) where it becomes necessary for people to be on blood thinners. Blood thinners make the risk of bleeding high, and people often bruise after bumping into soft objects. Coupled that with a decline in mobility, balance, and even sense perception, the risk of somebody tripping and falling is greatly increased. Bone mass also decreases over the years. When one falls and is taking blood thinners, bones can break and people often die from the bleeding sustained in a fall.
The Facts and Figures:
Researchers from the University of Utah and Oregon State University created a study that examined whether or not weight-bearing exercises with the aid of weight vests would improve balance, muscle strength, and bone mass to see if the incident of falls and hip fractures would decrease. Women who are post-menopausal are the most likely to develop osteoporosis and bone weakening. The researchers followed forty-four Caucasian women (osteoporosis has a higher incident amongst Asian women) between the ages of fifty and seventy that participated in a nine month exercise program utilizing weighted vests. The conclusion was that the women saw significant improvement in lower-body strength (16-33% increase), power (13% increase), and lean leg mass (3.5% increase). While the best way of avoiding falls is assessing the environment and the personal risk factors, it was concluded the increase performance of these physical attributes would lower the risk of somebody falling, and even decreasing fatality rates.
How To Live Better and Longer:
There are many dynamic workouts for weighted vests, such as the ones in our weekly fitness and fashion blog. Though this study targets women, men and people who are younger than the geriatric population can benefit from the workouts and exercise equipment. Not only can it increase athletic performance, it can also help to lose weight and burn fat. The important lesson here is to work out now to prevent issues in the future. As always, consult a medical professional prior to starting or engaging in any new exercise or diet regimen.
#livestrong @livestrong #fitness