This is a great article about what happens to the human body after the age of 40. But guess what? Exercise can help delay or prevent losing muscle mass, keeping us strong through into our twilight years. Please read, comment and share.
Aging Well Through ExerciseBy GRETCHEN REYNOLDS
Is physical frailty inevitable as we grow older? That question preoccupies scientists and the middle-aged, particularly when they become the same people. Until recently, the evidence was disheartening. A large number of studies in the past few years showed that after age 40, people typically lose 8 percent or more of their muscle mass each decade, a process that accelerates significantly after age 70. Less muscle mass generally means less strength, mobility and among the elderly, independence. It also has been linked with premature mortality.
But a growing body of newer science suggests that such decline may not be inexorable. Exercise, the thinking goes, and you might be able to rewrite the future for your muscles.
Consider the results of a stirring study published last month in the journal The Physician and Sportsmedicine. For it, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh recruited 40 competitive runners, cyclists and swimmers. They ranged in age from 40 to 81, with five men and five women representing each of four age groups: 40 to 49, 50 to 59, 60 to 69, and 70-plus. All were enviably fit, training four or five times a week and competing frequently. Several had won their age groups in recent races.
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