Retaining Training Benefits - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Monday, June 2, 2003

Retaining Training Benefits

I'm Dr. David Vastola and in order to play sports like this: football, track, etc, you really have to train. Many of us train just to stay in good health. We jog, power walk, lift weights, aerobics and all kinds of things to stay in good shape. That's training, but when you stop training whether it be football, track, soccer, or what we do as adults that's called detraining. The question is when you detrain, how long do the benefits last? There are three new studies that shed light on it. Let me tell you about them.

The first study took people who were well-trained in terms of aerobics, swimming, bicycling, running and they stopped doing it for three months. At the end of the three months they found that the detraining cost them 50% of the benefit that they had gained by doing it. In another study, they took men for eight weeks and trained them in terms of aerobics. Then they stopped for eight weeks. You know what they found? After that eight weeks of detraining there was no benefit left.

The third study I think is most important and most telling. They took men over the age of 70 and let them lift weights three times a week for three months. Then they lifted weights for only once a week instead of three times a week. By doing that they maintained most of the benefits as they did before. So in that case, the detraining really didn't hurt them. That tells us that if you're going to detrain, not exercise as much as you did for whatever reason, just don't quit because there will be some benefit left.

And I'm Dr. David Vastola and that's life.

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