Did you know that you don’t have to lose your strength or muscle tone just because you’re getting older? As long as you continue working your muscles, they’ll continue working for you, by keeping you fit and independent. And if you use your muscles regularly, they’ll stay strong and firm, regardless of age. That’s why it’s especially important for older adults to strength train. Studies have shown that men in their 60s and 70s who strength train regularly have muscles that look and perform as well as inactive men in their 20s and 30s. After age 20, most adults lose about one half pound of muscle a year. By the time you’re 65, you have lost 25 percent of your peak strength. Experts say most of this muscle loss comes from simply not using your muscles enough as you age.
Carrying groceries, hauling mulch, opening jars — it’s easy to take routine tasks for granted when you can do them easily. Keeping your muscles and bones strong improves your chances of continuing these tasks on your own and reduces your risk of injury. Staying independent is a great incentive to maintain strength as you age.
You can start building and regaining strength at any age. So if it has been a while since you’ve worked on your strength, don’t worry. Research shows that even people who begin strength training in their 90s can gain muscle and strength in as few as eight weeks.