Exercise can slow muscle loss

Many people associate age with frailty, and the idea that as we age, we are bound to become weaker. And for the most part, it’s true: starting at the age of 40, people typically lose about eight percent of their muscle mass every ten years, and this process speeds up after the age of 70.

But new research suggests that things may change. As reported recently in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, scientists say exercise may be able to reverse many signs of aging.

This research results “suggest strongly that people don’t have to lose muscle mass and function as they grow older,” Vonda Wright, a surgeon who co-authored a recent study on the subject, told the news source. “The changes that we’ve assumed were due to aging and therefore were unstoppable seem actually to be caused by inactivity. And that can be changed.”

For millions of North Americans, this could be a powerful factor in encouraging people to get more exercise. That means many people who eventually move into retirement homes and assisted living communities will be able to do so in excellent health.

For more tips on healthy eating, exercise, and achieving an overall healthy lifestyle, visit our Health section.