Age is no bar when it comes to exercising
According to a new study older people who never took part in any sustained exercise programmes possess the same ability to develop muscle mass just as any highly trained master athletes of a similar age.
Washington D.C: While people might think that muscle building is difficult in the late ages, according to a new study older people who never took part in any sustained exercise programmes possess the same ability to develop muscle mass just as any highly trained master athletes of a similar age.
The research shows that even those who are entirely unaccustomed to exercise can benefit from resistance exercises such as weight training.
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The study published in the journal 'Frontiers in Physiology' compared muscle-building ability in two groups of older men.
The first group was classed as 'master athletes' - people in their 70s and 80s who are lifelong exercisers and still competing at top levels in their sport. While the second consisted healthy individuals of a similar age, who had never participated in structured exercise programmes.
Each participant was given an isotope tracer, in the form of a drink of 'heavy' water, and then took part in a single bout of exercise, involving weight training on an exercise machine.
Researchers took muscle biopsies from participants in the 48 hour periods just before and just after the exercise, and examined these to look for signs of how the muscles were responding to the exercise. The isotope tracer showed how proteins were developing within the muscle.
The researchers had expected that the master athletes would have an increased ability to build muscle due to their superior levels of fitness over a prolonged period of time.
But to the contrary, results showed that both groups had an equal capacity to build muscle in response to exercise.
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"Our study clearly shows that it doesn't matter if you haven't been a regular exerciser throughout your life, you can still derive benefit from exercise whenever you start," says lead researcher, Dr Leigh Breen.
"Obviously a long term commitment to good health and exercise is the best approach to achieve whole-body health, but even starting later on in life will help delay age-related frailty and muscle weakness," added Breen. (ANI)