Newcastle – Trial helps older people stay strong

HMRI researcher Isobel Stoodley often hears older people tell her they want to do the things they used to do and to stay in their home for as long as possible. Ms Stoodley and University of Newcastle researcher, Professor Lisa Wood, are part of a clinical trial to prevent the loss of strength and function that occurs as we age.

The STRONG trial involves a home-based resistance exercise program combined with diet intervention over a 16-week period. “Older people often like walking, but they don’t realise how important resistance exercises are for building strength,” Ms Stoodley said.

“By intervening at an early stage, we can hopefully improve body composition and keep people healthier for longer,” Professor Wood explains. The exercises target the arms, shoulders, back and legs – crucial muscle groups that help with preventing falls. Grandmother of five and great grandmother of 11, Pat Mears, signed up for the STRONG trial. The 82-year-old completed the program but continues her resistance training two to three times per week. “I’ve really surprised myself by how strong I’ve become,” Pat said.

“I have no trouble getting up and down to play with the grandkids.”

STRONG is open to non-smokers, aged 65 years and over.
To participate, email or phone 4985 4563.