Strength Training Reverses Aging

Strength Training Reverses Aging

        “That which is used develops; that which is not used wastes away”- Hippocrates

 

As people age they not only lose energy, but also begin to lose muscle mass, among other things. This quote by the famous ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates, describes how the human body must be in a continuous active state in order to not deteriorate. Generally speaking, the corrosion and loss of muscle and muscle strength starts around the age of 40, and gradually worsens with age. By the age of 40, one’s body generally loses about 8 percent in muscle with every decade.  At age 70, this process significantly accelerates.  However, that doesn’t mean it’s time to cancel your gym membership and call it quits for anyone over the age of 40. On the contrary, it might just be the perfect time to start!

 

Strength training doesn’t just delay the effects of aging, but studies have shown that it actually reverses aging at a molecular level. The study that was conducted took 25 younger subject and 26 older subjects. The subjects then began to train for two days a week for six months.  After researching the older subjects and examining their genes, scientists found that continuous exercise reversed the characteristics of older genes. This study isn’t saying that a few weeks at the gym will turn seniors into a 30 year old.  But with continuous resistance training and exercise, they will certainly see results. Despite the reverse aging effect – which is a significant – the implementation of exercise into a senior’s daily (or weekly) routine can have many added benefits.

Frequent exercise can helps:

  • Control weight
  • Improve mental health, physical health and mood
  • Manage stress
  • Improve sleep
  • Reduce risk of some cancers

Not only can being active benefit seniors, but being inactive can be a very risky lifestyle. Seniors who choose not to exercise for fear of hurting themselves ironically put themselves at more risk of falling or hurting themselves. Exercise builds stamina and strength, prevents loss of bone mass, and improves one’s balance! The more inactive seniors are, the more prone they are to illnesses and physical harm. That means more doctor visits, more hospitalizations, and an overall gloomier outlook. Here is a list of some exercises seniors can do to start leading a more active, healthy lifestyle.  Of course, they should consult a doctor before starting any of these activities.

  • A light walk around the block
  • Yoga
  • Knee Extensions (with or without weight)
  • Partial squat and half squat against a wall
  • Upfront rows
  • Bicep curls
  • Overhead shoulder press

This website below has tutorials and directions on how to perform each exercise.  http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2015/09/18/strength-training-moves-for-seniors.aspx