Once-a-week resistance training improves health

Created date

April 30th, 2019
a woman balances on an exercise ball while holding small handweights out in front of her

Hate any type of exercise? Good news—according to a new study, doing resistance training only once weekly can improve your health. Like aerobic exercise, every little bit counts.

In this study, researchers from the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, tested a nine-month program of resistance training in study participants over 65 years of age. Some subjects performed resistance training three times weekly, some twice weekly, and others once weekly.

Improved muscle strength

Results showed that, as expected, muscle strength improved in all groups. In addition, people who had borderline high blood pressure, blood cholesterol, or blood glucose levels, improved greatly over the nine-month period, whether they were in the one, two, or three times weekly group. In fact, there was not a significant difference in health parameters between the least frequent exercisers and most frequent.

Resistance training also helps your brain—the researchers found that seniors who participated in the program reported improved mental well-being.

The study’s authors say that if you want to significantly increase your strength, then you need to do resistance exercises at least two to three times a week. But if your goal is to have sufficient strength to perform your daily activities and get around, then once weekly may be all you need. Always check with your doctor, however, before beginning any new type of exercise.