Elderly muscle still highly adaptable to both resistance and endurance training

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While some elderly men unfortunately think it's way too late for them to start exercising, scientific studies continue to come out to prove the validity of fitness on elderly muscle. In a study published in a highly reputable journal, the Journal of Applied Physiology, they used advanced imaging techniques on a group of males and females, average age of 69.2 (+/- 0.6 year) on the quadriceps muscle. Looking at the effects of endurance training as well as resistance training over a 6 months period, they also took muscle samples a before and after training periods. In the endurance trained group, they showed positive changes in energetic pathways. These changes include better use of oxygen in the body and better delivery of energy.

The resistance trained group showed even larger positive changes in oxidative capacity and also was the only group to change the structural property of the muscle. This elderly muscle has now more mitochondria, which are the power house of every cell, as well as increasing the size of the muscle. Why would the elderly need bigger muscles? Several reasons. Better quality of life through increased strength, less risk of bone breakage (osteoporosis), better bodyfat control which all lead back to the same thing; better quality of life. If all you've been doing is aerobic/cardio exercise, that's excellent! But you may want to give resistance training a go. Some of the benefits are well worth it.

endurance training
REFERENCE: J Appl Physiol. 2001 May;90(5):1663-70.
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