There’s an easier way for older ladies to boost physical performance than SilverSneakers Seniorcize: magnesium. A new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests taking a daily supp of the mineral may significantly improve physical performance and could help kick age-related decline. Of course, seniors should still keep kicking those silver sneakers as well.
Magnesium’s critical to our health. It regulates cholesterol, sparks the nervous system, relaxes muscles and helps balance calcium’s effects. A deficiency of the mineral is associated with poor physical performance, however, there’s been no previous trial investigating magnesium’s effects on elderly people’s performance, according to the study’s abstract.
Scientists studied 139 women, with a mean age of 71 and a half, attending a mild fitness program for 12 weeks. In a parallel-group, randomized controlled trial, one group received a daily dose of magnesium, the other a placebo. Researchers assessed physical performance at the beginning of the study and after 12 weeks using the Short Physical Performance Battery, an objective assessment tool for evaluating functioning in older people developed by the National Institute on Aging.
“Daily magnesium oxide supplementation for 12 weeks seems to improve physical performance in healthy elderly women,” concluded the study’s authors. “These findings suggest a role for magnesium supplementation in preventing or delaying the age-related decline in physical performance.”