How Does Exercise Help Senior Citizens?

I have written repeatedly about the benefits of exercise for senior citizens – both body and mind. Here is more good news, this time from the Department of Orthopeadic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, PA.

Andrew P. Wroblewski, MBS, BS; Francesca Amati, MD, PhD; Mark A. Smiley, MBA, BS; Bret Goodpaster, PhD; and Vonda Wright, MD, MS concluded that chronic exercise preserves lean muscle mass in masters athletes.

The abstract of their investigation studied, “…A cross-section of 40 high-level recreational athletes (“masters athletes”) who were aged 40 to 81 years and trained 4 to 5 times per week underwent tests of health/activity….”

It concluded, “This study contradicts the common observation that muscle mass and strength decline as a function of aging alone. Instead, these declines may signal the effect of chronic disuse rather than muscle aging. Evaluation of masters athletes removes disuse as a confounding variable in the study of lower-extremity function and loss of lean muscle mass. This maintenance of muscle mass and strength may decrease or eliminate the falls, functional decline, and loss of independence that are commonly seen in aging adults.”

They based their study on, “Aging is commonly associated with a loss of muscle mass and strength, resulting in falls, functional decline, and the subjective feeling of weakness. Exercise modulates the morbidities of muscle aging. Most studies, however, have examined muscle-loss changes in sedentary aging adults. This leaves the question of whether the changes that are commonly associated with muscle aging reflect the true physiology of muscle aging or whether they reflect disuse atrophy. This study evaluated whether high levels of chronic exercise prevents the loss of lean muscle mass and strength experienced in sedentary aging adults.”

I am thrilled to pass on this information to you as it meets all of my previously written biases. You can read further in the blog by clicking the Aging, exercise and brain tags at the right. My personal favorite is Exercise, Aging and the Brain. You can also check out my Page – Important Fact About Your Brain (and Exercise Benefits).

Tony

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Filed under aging, Exercise, Weight

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