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Lack of Exercise, Not Aging, Causes Weakness and Loss of Muscle in Older People

Posted Mar 22 2012 9:34pm
Aging does not cause you to lose muscles. Loss of muscle is caused by lack of exercise. You can preserve both muscle size and strength by continuing to exercise ahttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifs long as you live. Compare the MRIs of the legs of 40- and 70-year-old triathletes, and a 70-year-old non-exerciser:

The dark areas are muscle, the light areas are fat. Which legs would you rather have?

Forty competitive athletes, aged 40-81, who trained four to five times a week, had the same size muscles, the same absence of fat around their muscles, and close to the same strength as much younger athletes (The Physician and Sportsmedicine, September 2011). Many of the diseases and debilitating conditions associated with aging are caused by lack of exercise. "Exercise decreases body fat and obesity, increases muscle strength, improves balance, gait, and mobility, decreases likelihood of falling, improves psychological health, reduces arthritis pain, and heart attacks, osteoporosis, cancer, and diabetes."

After age 40, the average person loses more than eight percent of muscle size per decade. This loss increases to 15 percent per decade after age 75 years. Older people who lose muscles are four times more likely be disabled, have difficulty walking, and need walkers and other mechanical devices to help them walk (Am J Epidemiol, 1998; 147(8):755-763).


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