Magazine article Work & Family Life

Strength Training.An 'Equal Opportunity' Exercise

Magazine article Work & Family Life

Strength Training.An 'Equal Opportunity' Exercise

Article excerpt

People familiar with the perils of bone loss may be unaware of an even more universal disability, sarcopenia, or muscle loss. Sarcopenia generally starts to set in around age 45 and it happens to people of all fitness levels, even athletes. But those with less muscle mass to begin with-women, in particular-pay a higher price in terms of eventual frailty.

Its impossible to halt sarcopenia, but we can slow it down with strength training and stay as active in our 70s and 80s as we were earlier in life. Tufts University researchers found that a group of men ages 60-72 who completed a 12-week high-intensity weight-lifting regimen more than doubled their leg strength. Even nursing-home residents in their 90s were able build muscle and strength.

A typical workout might include 6-8 exercises with progressively heavier weights. A 70-year-old woman might start out lifting 2-pound weights and progress in time to more than 20 pounds. …

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