Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Elastic band exercises

Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief

I have to admit that I had to Google 'elastic band exercises' when I first encountered this article and it turns out that elastic band exercises are, indeed, exercises using elastic bands.  Having established what they were I now realise that, on my infrequent 'exploratory' visits to the gymn, I have seen these...usually lying in corners and only occasionally being used.  However, it transpires they offer a good method of 'resistance training' and, as this YouTube video shows, you can exercise the whole body.  In fact, they are also referred to as 'resistance bands'.

It transpires that elastic band exercises are beneficial in older people as a study from Taiwan by Yang et al. (2015) titled: 'Applying the transtheoretical model to promote functional fitness of community older adults participating in elastic band exercises' and published in JAN shows.  Yang et al. evaluated functional fitness - which included: 'included lung capacity, cardiopulmonary fitness, upper and lower body flexibility, upper limb muscle power and lower limb muscle endurance' - in 186 older people divided into two groups: one receiving elastic band therapy and one receiving their usual activities three times weekly at a centre for older people over 6 months.

As the results show, the elastic band exercise led to: 'better performances...in all of the functional fitness indicators after 3 months and 6 months of the senior elastic band exercises'.  The authors concluded that the elastic band exercises: 'improved the functional fitness of community older adults. The programme is inexpensive, easy to use, safe and suitable to be applied in the community centres or practiced at home.'

You can listen to this as a podcast.

Reference

Yang J-H, Chan K-M, CHen M-D, Wu H-C, Chang W-J, WangY-C. Huang H-T (2015) Applying the transtheoretical model to promote functional fitness of community older adults participating in elastic band exercises Journal of Advanced Nursing doi: 10 1111/jan.12705

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