Lack of strength is the number one reason for falls in the elderly, so strengthening your body is essential as you get older. Now research proves that you can gain strength and muscle at any age.

Danish scientists studied 36 patients between the ages of 60 and 86 after they’d had a single hip-replacement surgery. The subjects did three resistance-training workouts per week for 12 weeks, and increased their muscle strength by over 29 percent at both fast and slow speeds of movement. Plus, they increased the size of their slow- and fast-muscle fibers by 17 percent and 37 percent respectively.

In addition, the subjects were able to boost their stair-walking power by 35 percent. The researchers found that this was related to the increase in their fast-muscle fibers. They also found that traditional rehabilitation methods had no functional or strength benefits.

In order to work your fast-muscle fibers, you need to do challenging strength-training workouts. Using light weights that you can lift for 20 to 30 reps will not boost your fast-twitch muscle fiber strength or your power.

So, no matter what your age, make plans to meet with a personal trainer who knows how to get you stronger by using basic exercises like step-ups, squats, rows, and push-ups. Avoid any trainer who wants you to train with light weights for “toning,” as that will have no long-term effect on your health or performance.

[Ed. Note: It’s never too late to start improving your health. And you can feel better, get healthier, and even live longer just by making a few simple changes to your lifestyle.

Fitness expert Craig Ballantyne can show you a simple, reliable fitness program that can help you lose weight and gain muscle. ]

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