Most of us associate strength training only with young, fit people. But as it turns out, seniors over 65 can also do them. Here are some proven ways to keep your muscles fit.
It’s never too late to exercise!
Not everyone is aware of it, but people who have never been to a gym can exercise with weights without any fear. Be aware that muscle loss is an inevitable process. With the passage of time, our musculature begins to gradually wear out. This process usually begins after the age of 30. Within 10 years, we lose about 3-8 percent of our muscle tissue. Until the age of 50, this process is slow. However, as research shows, as many as 30 percent of people over 60 suffer from muscle mass loss. In the case of people over 80, it is already 50 percent.
How does our body change over time?
As the body ages, muscle structure is remodeled. Fast twitch fibres, which contract quickly and with great force, are degraded. They have low strength and work shorter than slow contractile fibers. What follows, in the first place, is a loss of strength, dynamics and speed.
As a result of the passage of time, our muscles need much more energy to work, which is produced in the mitochondria of tissues. Their quantity and quality decreases year by year. As a result, the body is not able to produce enough energy to satisfy the body during prolonged, intensive exercise. A decrease in the number and efficiency of mitochondria also occurs in muscles. As a result, they are not able to regenerate properly and participate in the process of tissue regeneration.
Danger of muscle weakness
Over time, muscle strength decreases. The communication between the tissues and the brain deteriorates, which can result in a loss of coordination or reflexes. According to a study of 55-65 year olds and 18-30 year olds after hospitalisation who were unable to use their muscles for two weeks, older patients lost muscle mass at a much faster rate. What’s more, they showed significantly poorer communication between the nervous system and the muscles. Even after rehabilitation, they were unable to regain full function.
Health and physical activity
The loss of muscles is not only associated with a change in body shape or the need to give up your favorite sport, but it is also a serious health risk. Slow-twitch fibers develop as a result of performance training. Performance is formed during exercise that forces the mitochondria to produce energy from oxygen delivered from the lungs to the muscles.
How can seniors stimulate their muscles?
First of all, it is necessary to ensure adequate stimulation of fast twitch fibers. This is possible by lifting weights. People who have not yet had the opportunity to exercise in a gym, training should start with small loads and gradually increase them. During each activity, you should stimulate different muscle groups and combine exercises of opposite groups. For example, during one training session it is worth focusing on both biceps and triceps. At the same time you can train the biceps and quadriceps. In turn, back training can be combined with abdominal training without fear. In addition to exercises, a properly composed diet and regeneration also play a very important role.
Featured photo: Freepik