Getting older needn’t mean giving up muscle strength

Not only can adults halt the loss of strength and muscle that comes with age, but they can actually reverse the process and get stronger.

According to an article by experts at the University of Michigan Health System, published in The American Journal of Medicine, after an average of 18-20 weeks of progressive resistance training, an adult can add 2.42 pounds of lean muscle to their body mass and increases their overall strength by 25-30 percent.

“Resistance exercise is a great way to increase lean muscle tissue and strength capacity so that people can function more readily in daily life,” says Mark Peterson, Ph.D., a research fellow at the University of Michigan.

“Our analyses of current research show that the most important factor in somebody’s function is their strength capacity. No matter what age an individual is, they can experience significant strength improvement with progressive resistance exercise even into the eighth and ninth decades of life,” he says.

Exercises that use one’s own body weight include squats, standing up out of a chair, modified push-ups, lying hip bridges, as well as non-traditional exercises that progress through a full range of motion, such as Thai Chi or Pilates and Yoga.

After getting accustomed to these activities, older adults can move on to more advanced resistance training in an exercise and fitness facility. A certified trainer or fitness professional that has experience with special populations can help with the transition.

Peterson says you should feel comfortable asking a trainer whether they have experience working with ageing adults before you begin any fitness routine.

“Working out at age 20 is not the same as at age 70. A fitness professional who understands those differences is important for your safety. In addition, current recommendations suggest that an older individual participate in strengthening exercise two days per week,” Peterson says. “Based on the results of our studies, I would suggest that be thought of as the minimum.”

Source: University of Michigan Health System

About Human Kinetics

Human Kinetics is the world’s leading information provider on physical activity and health. This blog is operated by the European division of Human Kinetics, based in Leeds in the United Kingdom. In this blog we aim to bring you our latest products, news on our existing products and articles and information on health, exercise, fitness, PE, nutrition and much, much more.

There are 3 comments

  1. Joe

    Lots of good info. However, it is an anatomy book so the information is limited to anatomy. This book shows you what the involved muscle does during a specific exercise. This book will not teach you how to work out, and has no info on diet or nutrition. If you are a beginner you may want to start with a different exercise book. If you already work out and you need to know which exercise hits which muscle and how, this is the book to get.

  2. Beta Force Muscle Building Matrix

    Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts as long as I
    provide credit and sources back to your weblog?

    My blog site is in the exact same area of interest as yours and my users would truly benefit
    from some of the information you present here. Please let me
    know if this ok with you. Many thanks!

Leave a Reply