It’s a scary statistic. You could lose several pounds of muscle per decade after age 30… and more if you diet. As a result of that muscle loss, your metabolism slows down, your risk of falls and injury increases – and do I even have to mention the dramatic decline in the appearance of your beach body?

All of that can be avoided.

According to a study in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, adding strength training to a low-calorie diet plan can help reduce muscle loss as you age.

The subjects in this 6-month study included 30 obese men and women with an average age of 70. They were divided into two groups. One group followed a low-calorie diet. The other group followed the same diet, but also performed progressively difficult resistance-training exercises.

The results were shocking. Both groups lost over 14.9 pounds of fat. However, the exercise group lost only 4 pounds of fat-free mass (which includes muscle), while the diet group lost 7.7 pounds of fat-free mass. And although the exercise group did lose some muscle, they still increased their strength by 17-43 percent, an essential defense against potentially deadly falls.

[Ed. Note: Resistance training is a good way to build muscle and increase your strength at any age. Discover new exercises with fitness expert Craig Ballantyne’s Turbulence Training for Fat Loss program.]

Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. Craig has been a contributor to Men’s Health magazine for over 17 years. Today he teaches his gift high-performing entrepreneurs how to squeeze more out of their days, increase their income, and make more quality time for their families in his Perfect Life Workshop and Work-Life Mastery programs. Craig used his own advice to overcome crippling anxiety attacks in 2006, and he’ll teach you his 5 Pillars of Success so you can increase your income, decrease your work time, and live the life of your dreams. Learn more about Craig at craigballantyne.com