Fitness Tip

Strength Training Reverses Muscle Loss
by Colleen Daily, Athletic Trainer



Contrary to what some people may think, building muscle is a MUST for anyone over the age of 50.  Women in their 40ís and men in their 60ís lose muscle strength at the rate of 12% per decade.  That computes to a 7-10 pound loss of lean muscle tissue over the course of 10 years.  Although endurance exercise (treadmill, bicycle, elliptical, swimming, etc) improves cardiovascular fitness, it does not prevent the loss of muscle tissue.  Only strength training can prevent muscle loss and build new muscle tissue.  With only three months of proper strength training, a person can increase their muscle strength by 40%, overcoming  up to three decades of muscle and strength deterioration.

Research shows that muscle loss slows metabolism, makes weight control difficult, and leaves a person more susceptible to diabetes.  Muscle loss due to AGING is known as SARCOPENIA (pronounced sar-co- PEEN-yuh).  Eighty to ninety percent of adults will end up with Sarcopenia if they fail to incorporate a program of strength training and physical exercise into their daily regimen.  Both men and women lose muscle as they age, but the functional consequences for women are far greater, since women live longer. 

Studies show that strength training increases self confidence, improves sleep and helps with depression.  It makes aerobic exercise more enjoyable because endurance is higher.  Strength training improves balance and reduces falls, factors that become more significant with age. The same stimulus that increases muscle proteins also increases bone proteins and mineral content.  Therefore, bone density improves with a comprehensive strength training program.

As a personal trainer, I work with seniors on a daily basis and see the improvements that properly instructed strength training can bring.  Building lean muscle tissue is not an option after age 55, itís a necessity. To learn more about strength training, give me a call at Daily Fitness, 623-256-7901. I would be happy to explain how our program works.