As You Grow Older, Don’t Lose Your Muscles!

by Bea | April 4th, 2011 | Strength Training

A new study done by the University of Michigan Health system has recently reported that just because you are getting older, that does not mean that you have to lose the battle against muscle and strength loss. In fact, they have even ventured so far as to say that your “Golden Years” can actually be a great time to get stronger than you have ever been.

No matter how young you are, it still holds true that the more inactive you are, the more muscle loss you will experience — that is just common knowledge. As you grow older, you tend to lose your muscle mass more readily than in your younger years. In fact, those who are inactive and over the age of 50 can lose up to 0.4 pounds of muscle mass per year.True, your weight will start to go down, but that is only because your muscles will probably be replaced by unwanted fat.

The study found that resistance exercise is one of the best ways to increase strength and lean muscle tissue. Resistance training will help in daily tasks, such as getting out of a chair, and it will keep the body used to performing a range of motions. Through resistance training, a person’s strength capacity will increase.

Examples of resistance exercises that even people over the age of 50 can do are push-ups (you can even modify them if you want), lying hip-bridges, or squats. Yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi are also great activities to get involved with. One thing to remember is that you have to progress. Doing 20 push-ups every day for 5 years will not get you any further if you are trying to promote your future health. It is important to make a schedule and every week you should try to increase either the number of replications, the amount of weight, the time, etc.

Growing old does not mean that you have to lose everything that you have. You can keep working and you will build strength. Being able to build strength is something that everyone can do at any age, it just happens in a different manner. The study recommends the best way to build strength would be through resistance training, but you can also run, go for walks, and more. The key goal is to be able to function and walk around without help in the later years.

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.