An article recently published by USAToday about a Cochrane review of research on improving function in older adults with resistance training noted that elastic resistance bands are effective:

“In a review of 121 clinical trials that looked at weight-lifting in people over age 60, researchers led by Chiung-ju Liu of Indiana University at Indianapolis, conclude that weight lifting two to three times a week makes everyday tasks easier for the elderly.

“Older adults seem to benefit from this type of exercise even at the age of 80, and even with some type of health condition,” Liu says, in a statement. “The data support the idea that muscle strength is largely improved after the training, and the impact on older adults’ daily activities can be significant.”

Free weights, exercise machines or elastic “resistance” bands (their weight adjusted to the progress of the study participants) all showed benefits. They included “large improvement” in strength and “moderate to large improvement” in tasks such as climbing stairs, according to the study the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.”

Read the Cochrane review here.

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