Strength Training Is Essential for Preventing Age-Related Muscle Loss
Feb 22, 2016
Weight training is important throughout your life, but in many ways it becomes even more important as you age. Even if you're in your 90s, it's not too late. One study found a group of nursing home residents with an average age of 90 improved their strength between 167 and 180 percent after just eight weeks of weight training.11 According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM):
"Given an adequate training stimulus, older adults can make significant gains in strength. A two- to threefold increase in strength can be accomplished in three to four months in fibers recruited during training in older adults. With more prolonged resistance training, even a modest increase in muscle size is possible.
…With increasing muscle strength come increased levels of spontaneous activity in both healthy, independent older adults and very old and frail men and women. Strength training, in addition to its possible effects on insulin action, bone density, energy metabolism, and functional status, is also an important way to increase levels of physical activity in the older adult."
Strength training also increases your body's production of growth factors, which are responsible for cellular growth, proliferation, and differentiation. Some of these growth factors also promote the growth, differentiation, and survival ofneurons, which helps explain why working your muscles also benefits your brain and helps prevent dementia.