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Reversing Aging in the Aging Muscle

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fitness and yoga     As we age, our bodies continually change. The body goes through an evolution of growth and development from birth before reaching a point of gradual decline due to the natural aspect of aging. Basic biology of life says that as we age, we become physically weaker, lose muscle mass and can develop some impairments to performing daily activities. New studies in exercise biology have demonstrated ways of partially reversing this!
Exercise has been touted as having incredible benefits such as improved mood, having cardiovascular benefits, increased strength and muscle tone, an ability to reduce or eliminate the likelihood of disease, etc… but reversing aging in muscle tissue?
Much research has been done comparing the muscle tissue of older adults to their younger counterparts. One of the studies compared the two groups by testing cellular components, the mitochondria, of muscle tissue were before and after a comprehensive resistance training program. Mitochondria are the powerhouses of our cells. When the mitochondria in the muscle cells function properly, cells can correctly divide and repair themselves. As we age, the mitochondria begin functioning improperly causing incorrect muscle function and weakness. What was found is that some genetic markers found in the mitochondria actually expressed gene traits found in younger adults. These changes resulted in healthier muscle tissue, increased strength and greater capacity to do daily activities.
The changes that resulted from the resistance training were very positive. The older adults increased muscle strength by about 50% in some cases from what their baseline strength was. With continued strength training, they were able to maintain their overall strength and their overall muscle function improved. The effects of resistance training lead to the partial age reversal of muscle tissue for older adults.
Even though the effects of aging are inevitable, the focus of maintaining our independence as best as possible is vital. Regardless of our age, we want to remain active and capable. Resistance/strength training plays a pivotal role in this. In the Bethany Village Fitness Center, this is one of the many goals we have. So, if you have never been on a dedicated workout program before, it is never too late to have one put together for you!

Written by Bethany Lutheran Village

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