Strength Training Eases the Effects of Aging

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Strength Training Eases the Effects of Aging

Many of us are beginning to feel the effects of aging. Sore muscles, pain in new areas, and even notice it is harder to get up out of a chair. Some studies show that 70% of women at age 70 cannot lift a gallon of milk. And it is known that muscles begin to atrophy within 48 hrs. of disuse.

As we age, it becomes increasingly important to maintain powerful upper and lower body muscles, as doing so may help to prevent the incidence of age-related falls.

Researchers from the University of New Hampshire (New Hampshire, USA) enrolled 49 inactive women, half younger (ages 18 to 33 years) and half older (ages 65 to 84 years), in an eight-week strength training program consisting of knee extension exercises, concentrating on quadricep muscles.  Women in both groups, younger and older, showed a 12% increase in muscle strength.  As well, the younger group logged a 35% increase in muscle power, as compared to a 9% increase among the older women.

A team from Indiana University (Indiana, USA) studied data from 121 trials involving 6,700 older men and women. Overall, the team found that progressive resistance training reduced weakness and improved study subjects’ abilities to perform both basic and more complex tasks of daily living.  Further, those osteoarthritis patients who engaged in progressive resistance training reported a reduction in pain. 

The key to proper strength training is to ensure it is intense enough to stress the muscles adequately to build their strength.  Consult your anti-aging physician to assess the level of fitness appropriate to your medical needs; s/he will help design an exercise regimen tailored for you.


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