Of all the studies I have read, this one from the Buck Institute for Age Research seals the deal. The study headline reads: Resistance Exercise Reverses Aging in Human Skeletal Muscle.
Not “slows” or “repairs.” Reverses.
As we age, our muscles begin to show what researchers call “mitochondrial dysfunction.” (The mitochondria is the energy factory of the human cell.) This is what causes all the bad stuff associated with “sarcopenia,” the gradual wasting away of muscle due to age and under-use that most people experience.
The problem? The less muscle you have, the more body fat you will gain – even if you don’t eat any more food. Muscle loss is also related to the onset of bone diseases, including osteoporosis and even various forms of arthritis. The muscles that hold the spine in alignment can deteriorate as we age and cause major back problems. The same is true for the muscles and tendons around the knee and hip joints.
Resistance exercise – training with weights or by using your body weight – builds muscle. And it does so at any age. But the real find of the Buck Institute study is that after just six months of resistance training, test subjects (all of them 65 or older) showed a “reversal of most of the genes affected by age” in muscle tissue.
After the subjects engaged in resistance training (in this case, simple weight training), their strength increased by over 20 percent. And their genes literally “reverted back” to the same markers as “younger” genes after only six months of exercise.
Maintaining muscle as we age is good. Gaining muscle is even better. But literally reverting our genes to a “younger version” within the muscle – after only six months – is mind boggling.
Add resistance training to your exercise regimen. You’ll look better and feel better than you ever have.[Ed. Note: Jon Benson, a lifecoach and nutrition counselor who specializes in helping individuals discover a life-altering mind/body connection, offers practical advice for becoming stronger, healthier, and more energetic in the articles he writes for ETR’s FREE natural health e-letter. His work in the field of post-40 fitness and mental empowerment has helped countless thousands. Learn how you can do the same at www.fitover40.com or www.mpowerfitness.com.]