Both resistance and combined aerobic and resistance exercise can be recommended to protect against bone loss during weight loss therapy of older adults with obesity, according to the authors of a new study.
It follows a head-to-head comparison of aerobic or resistance exercise or both, during matched weight loss in 160 older adults with obesity. Participants were randomised to one of four groups: a control group, an aerobic group that participated in a weight-management programme and aerobic exercise training, a resistance group that participated in a weight management programme and resistance exercise training, and a combination group that participated in a weight management programme and combined aerobic and resistance exercise training.
Body weight decreased similarly in the aerobic group, resistance group and combination group (all 9% decrease) but not in the control group (less than 1% decrease).
The authors reported however that despite equal weight loss, BMD at the total hip decreased less in the resistance group (0.7% decrease) and combination group (1.1% decrease) than in the aerobic group (2.6% decrease). Compared with aerobic exercise, resistance and combined aerobic and resistance exercise were also associated with less weight loss-induced increase in bone turnover.
The findings are published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.