If you’re getting older and notice that it’s tougher to do the things you used to do, you’re not alone. The body starts losing muscle mass at about age thirty. The condition called sarcopenia causes muscle mass to disappear at about three to five percent each decade. That’s why people tend to look frail as they get old. It doesn’t have to occur. One study showed that a man in his 70s who has maintained a regimen of weight lifting for at least 15 to 20 years will have the same muscle mass as a man in his 20s. Best of all, it’s never too late to start. There are strength training benefits for aging bodies.
You might not have the beach bully body, but you will gain strength.
The older you get, the less likely you will be to build ripply muscle tissue. Even when you do, your skin may not fit it as well as it does the young lifeguard. What really counts, however, is not the bulging of the muscles, but the strength. Getting stronger is important at all ages. It makes the difference in some cases of living on your own and needing help to survive. It definitely makes a difference in the quality of life you live and that’s what’s most important.
Resistance training helps prevent or slow the progress of osteoporosis.
Many studies show that resistance or strength training can slow or stop bone loss. Some studies show that it can actually reverse it. There are also studies that show it’s better or at least equal to the results received from prescription drugs for osteoporosis. Best of all, the only side effects are a healthier body, more energy and a fitter appearance. Consider exercise as part of your medical care program as you age and you won’t be seeing the doctor nearly as frequently.
Building muscle tissue and strength helps you even when you walk.
One study showed that people who had a faster gait when they walked, lived longer. While it makes sense that someone who is feeble would walk slower than someone who is fit, walking faster may actually make you more fit. One way to improve that speed and gait is through high intensity resistance exercises. You’ll walk safer and faster, avoiding many of the pitfalls of aging.
- Lower limb strength is just as important as upper body strength. It’s not all about lifting with the arms, it’s about total body strength.
- Improved lower body strength can help prevent falls.
- Resistance bands are an inexpensive method of building strength and can be used in the home if you’re unable to make it to the gym.
- Maintaining a program of strength training also can help turn back the clock and make you look and feel years younger.