Sunday, April 16, 2006

Getting fit as one gets older

It was good to see the article in the Globe Magazine today about the numbers of older folks getting to the gym and in general attempting to get or stay fit.
 
One good reason:
THERE'S SOLID SCIENCE BEHIND WHY STRENGTH TRAINING works such rapid magic on midlife and older adults. After age 45, adults start losing about one-third to a half-pound of muscle and gain that much body fat every year, says Miriam Nelson of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. "Eventually you become so weak you can't walk up stairs or get out of a chair without assistance."
 
In the late 1980s, Dr. Irwin Rosenberg, former dean of the Friedman School, coined the term "sarcopenia" to describe this loss of muscle mass. At the time, Tufts researchers were conducting landmark strength-training studies on older sedentary men and women, including frail 90-year-olds in nursing homes using walkers and canes. Participants trained the same way younger people do -- with progressively heavier weights. (Earlier studies on older adults had shown little improvement in strength, probably because lighter weights were used to avoid injury.) This time, volunteers worked at 80 percent of their capacity, using weights heavy enough to lift eight times with good form. After weight training three times a week for eight weeks, the volunteers increased their strength an average of 175 percent. Two women dumped their canes.
 
If you have not already started an exercise program, don't wait. There is no time like today!
 
 
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1 comment:

Tim PFB said...

Great article! Keep on running... :)