All my life I have been truly hoping that I may be lucky enough to inherit their genes. My recent studies and research into longevity and healthy aging however, made me ask myself a question “Is it just the genes which made them live happily ever after…?”
The answer, I discovered, is ‘No! It wasn’t just down to their genes.’
Both my grandparents were farmers in a very rural village in times of limited technological development. They were working physically hard and eating their own farmed food.
Muscle loss starts at 35
When we reach the age of 35 we start losing our muscle strength and mass and as we get older the process accelerates. This affects many functions in our body including bone health, often causing us aches and pains. We can lose as much as 3% to 5% of the muscle mass per decade after the age of 35. This phenomenon is known as sarcopenia.
The good news is that the process is not inevitable. We can significantly slow it down, but how?
The answer, which you might not be expecting to hear, is … We need to start “pumping iron”!
Lift weights, build muscles and keep age-related conditions at bay
A growing number of physicians and trainers recommend their older patients to lift weights. Indeed more and more research findings are showing that strength training helps stave off age-related disability, preserve bone mass, and is the most effective remedy against osteoporosis. It can even boost brainpower.
Research at Tufts and in other centres around the world found that it’s safe for older adults to do high intensity resistance training. When they do, they gain significant muscle mass. A healthy person in his or her 60s can gain 2 to 3 pounds of muscle in six months to a year, about half of the gains that a younger person would see with the same workouts, according to Roger A. Fielding, a Tufts University School of Medicine professor. Importantly, injuries are rare in comparison with lengthy aerobic training sessions.
Strength training is not only for body builders
Even though older individuals gain muscle less rapidly, the results significantly improve their quality of life. Rev5, a progressive resistance training fitness centre in Windsor, runs 15 minute a week workouts, and has clients between the ages of 14 and 78. They use five different machines for the 15 minute workout. Clients reported feeling better, stronger and more motivated to pursue activities they never thought they would be able to do or to do again.
Even a busy schedule needn’t be a barrier
For many, the first and most difficult step in strength training is making the time commitment. Busy schedules, family life, prolonged working hours can make it difficult to devote time for exercising, however, more research provides an evidence that short (even 12 – 15 minutes a week) but very intense training session can truly yield astonishing results.
If you feel you are not as strong as you used to be, it’s time to take action! The Rev5 fitness centre in Windsor offer free trial sessions. All you have to do is get in touch and we will book you in.
About the author:
Magdalena Wronska completed her MSc in Personalised Nutrition at CNELM in 2014 with distinction. Her dissertation topic was focused on the inflammatory pathways, linking obesity and depression (with specific focus on HPA). Magdalena has a passion for sport, sport nutrition and resistance training. She is currently undertaking Clinical Training as a last part of her Practice Diploma at CNELM. She lives and works in London as a Lecturer.