Impact of Strength and Resistance Training on Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors and Outcomes in Older Adults

Mark A. Williams, Kerry J. Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


In older persons with and without cardiovascular disease, muscular strength and endurance contribute to functional independence and quality of life, while reducing disability. Aging skeletal muscle responds to progressive overload through resistance training. In men and women, strength improves through neuromuscular adaptation, muscle fiber hypertrophy, and increased muscle oxidative capacity. The increase in muscle oxidative capacity is due to the combination of strength development and aerobic exercise often used in resistance-type circuit training. Even in the oldest persons, resistance training significantly increases strength and gait velocity, improves balance and coordination, extends walking endurance, and enhances stair-climbing power. This article reviews the physiologic response to resistance training in older adults and discusses the impact of resistance exercise training on cardiovascular risk factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)703-714
Number of pages12
JournalClinics in Geriatric Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2009


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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