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Retain your muscle strength in old age

Posted by Elizebath Bijoy Sunday, April 3, 2011

Washington: Not only can adults fight the battle of strength and muscle loss that comes with age but the golden years can be a time to get stronger.

'Resistance exercise is a great way to increase lean muscle tissue and strength capacity,' says Mark Peterson, research fellow at the University of Michigan's department of physical medicine and rehabilitation.

Progressive resistance training means that the amount of weight used and the frequency and duration of training sessions is altered over time to accommodate an individual's improvements, the American Journal of Medicine reports.

Through resistance training, adults can improve their ability to stand up out of a chair, walk across the floor, climb a flight of stairs -- anything that requires manipulating their own body mass through a full range of motions, according to a Michigan statement.

Normally, adults who are sedentary beyond age 50 can expect muscle loss of up to 0.4 pounds a year. 'But even earlier in adulthood - the 30s, 40s and 50s - you can begin to see declines if you do not engage in any strengthening activities,' Peterson says.

'No matter what age an individual is, they can experience significant strength improvement with progressive resistance exercise even into the eighth and ninth decades of life,' Peterson says.

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