Benefits of physical activity | Exercise improves muscle mass
- According to a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine, starting physical activity at any age can improve muscle mass.
- Start incorporating exercises such as squats, push-ups, lunges, planks, and sit-ups into your routine to increase muscle mass and overall health.
When it comes to muscle mass, the phrase “use it or lose it” can get very literal. According to a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical MedicineAge-related changes in skeletal muscle mass are part of everyday life, but that doesn’t mean you can’t slow the process down considerably.
Researchers looked at 234 women, aged 47 to 55, going through menopause. When this happens, hormonal changes, such as a decrease in the hormone estradiol, can increase the rate of loss of muscle mass – physically inactive people lose three to five percent of that mass every decade after age 30, but it can. decrease more after 50 years, especially for women.
In the study, muscle size rates were measured at various times during perimenopause – a transitional phase that begins several years before menopause – and just after postmenopause. The researchers found that those who remained physically active had more muscle mass before and after menopause compared to less active participants.
These results align with similar studies that have shown significant benefits for body composition – not to mention heart health, cognition, bone density, sleep, and more. – which accompany exercise, for men and women. Even if you’ve spent your life being fairly sedentary, you can still gain benefits by starting a consistent exercise routine later in life, according to Rosa Maria Rodrigues Pereira, MD, Ph.D., professor of medicine at the ‘University of São Paulo. in Brazil.
Although Pereira was not in the recent study, her research on exercise and bone mineral density, especially in older people, highlighted the role of muscle mass, she said. The runner’s world.
“Muscle mass plays a key role in aging because if you are sedentary and lose that mass quickly, it prepares you for all types of problems including increased risk of falls, lower bone mineral density, injury. and even an increased risk of early mortality. , “she said.” Sure, it helps build muscle mass when you’re younger, so you can have it as you get older. But really, starting to exercise at any age is going to give you great benefits. advantages.
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She added that not only can muscle mass be maintained through exercise, but it can also be increased, which means you can reverse the aging process of losing muscle mass. You may need to do a little more work, however. A previous study found that people over 60 need to lift weights more often than younger adults to maintain muscle mass and size.
But even if it takes a bit more resistance training, it’s worth it, Pereira believes.
“We are still discovering all the ways that muscle mass can improve the quality of life as we age,” she said.
So, start incorporating exercises like squats, push-ups, lunges, planks, and sit-ups into your routine to improve your muscle mass and overall health.
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