A STUDY is being conducted to examine the benefits of resistance exercise for older people at the University of Limerick.
Masters student and physical trainer Jessica Eynaud is conducting the research in conjunction with Siel Bleu, a charity promoting the physical, social and mental welfare of Ireland’s adult population. Siel Bleu is funding this study.
Former model and TV presenter Barbara McMahon, 62, is among those seeking to improve her health, fitness and muscle mass, which gradually reduces with age.
The study over a 12-week period is investigating the effects of adapted physical activities (APA) on adults aged between 50 and 70.
Under the pilot programme, trainers deliver exercise programmes that use the APA model, which are aimed specifically at those who cannot partake in traditional exercises due to physical or other reasons.
Participants can avail of a body composition analysis, malnutrition screening and short physical and needs based assessments
On completion of the study, they will be encouraged to continue with their Siel Bleu classes, and take full advantage of a programme specially designed for them. At present the classes cost €4 per session, but depending on forthcoming funding it is hoped this initiative could be free for those over 50.
Local GPs have now referred over 25 patients to the study, with classes held in UL and in St Munchin’s resource centre in Ballynanty.
Ms Eynaud explains the non-profit organisation takes a holistic approach to the well-being of older people.
“The individuals will not only be part of a fun exercise class which will help to improve their physical capabilities, but they will become part of a group where they will be socially interactive with other participants and the trainer,” she said,
The pilot will run until September with a goal of recording the progress of 90 participants, and to roll out similar programmes with GPs across Ireland.
For more information to be part of this programme, please visit www.sielbleu.ie, or call 01 209 6889.