As we age, our bodies become more frail and we begin to lose muscle tissue. Some “studies have [even] found that as [we] age, [we] not only lose muscle, but the tissue that remains can become infiltrated with fat, degrading its quality and reducing its strength.”
So what can we do to prevent this?
A recent study found that consistent exercise not only keeps you healthy as you age, but it also prevents muscle loss. A study was conducted among people (ranging in age from 40-70) who exercise 4-5 times a week and the results were encouraging.
“There was little evidence of deterioration in the older athletes’ musculature. The athletes in their 70s and 80s had almost as much thigh muscle mass as the athletes in their 40s, with minor, if any, fat infiltration. The athletes also remained strong.”
“What we can say with certainty is that any activity is better than none,” Dr. Wright says, “and more is probably better than less. But the bigger message is that it looks as if how we age can be under our control. Through exercise, you can preserve muscle mass and strength and avoid the decline from vitality to frailty.”
With New Year’s resolutions around the corner, make a concerted effort to get outside and to the gym, if you belong to one. Any activity is better than none, so take a hike with a friend, plant a new garden or walk to the grocery store instead of driving to pick up that cartoon or milk you will need for your cereal in the morning!
To read more about this study click here: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/09/aging-well-through-exercise/?ref=elderly