Exercise is always a hidden treasure for a healthy and prosperous life. Therefore, senior citizens relax, your age is just a number, and it's never too late to start exercising. So, hurry up, plan your daily workout routine now for better tomorrow.
Older people who have never taken part in sustained exercise programs have the same ability to build muscle mass as highly trained master athletes of a similar age, according to new research at the University of Birmingham.
The research shows that even those who are entirely unaccustomed to exercise can benefit from resistance exercises such as weight training.
Each participant was given an isotope tracer, in the form of a drink of 'heavy' water, and then took part in a single bout of exercise, involving weight training on an exercise machine. The researchers took muscle biopsies from participants in the 48 hour periods just before and just after the exercise, and examined these to look for signs of how the muscles were responding to the exercise. The isotope tracer showed how proteins were developing within the muscle.
The research team had expected that the master athletes would have an increased ability to build muscle due to their superior levels of fitness over a prolonged period of time. In fact, the results showed that both groups had an equal capacity to build muscle in response to exercise.
"Our study clearly shows that it doesn't matter if you haven't been a regular exerciser throughout your life, you can still derive benefit from exercise whenever you start," says lead researcher, Dr Leigh Breen. "Obviously a long term commitment to good health and exercise is the best approach to achieve whole-body health, but even starting later on in life will help delay age-related frailty and muscle weakness.
"Current public health advice on strength training for older people is often quite vague. What's needed is more specific guidance on how individuals can improve their muscle strength, even outside of a gym-setting through activities undertaken in their homes - activities such as gardening, walking up and down stairs, or lifting up a shopping bag can all help if undertaken as part of a regular exercise regime."