Keeps Aging Muscles Energized
used to think that all people lost muscle mass and strength
after age 30. Then we learned we were looking at skewed statistics.
Turns out we can in fact increase our strength and muscle
mass well beyond age 30. How did we miss this? The loss of
strength and muscle mass was more related to reduced physical
activity rather than age.
were studying people who on average had abandoned the physical
activities they did in their youth. Problem is, this "you're
done after age 30" conclusion did not explain those in
their 30's, 40's, and even into their 70's and 80's who seemed
to buck this trend sporting the strength and physique expected
only prior to age 30.
these super humans? Did they get randomly blessed with a super
gene? No.. They exercise.
does remain true that age does decrease the total gains we
can make, and the rate we can improve, but for the most part
there is no reason why someone in their 40's and 50's can't
be comparably fit to someone in their 20's, and no reason
why a person over age 60 can't be very, very fit.
research has interesting parallels to the lose muscle
mass after age 30 theory. It has been found that as we age
our muscles ability to make energy reduces due to deterioration
of mitochondria - tiny globular structures inside muscles
that make ATP, the only energy compound our muscle cells can
wait; can't we use fat and carbohydrates as energy? Yes, but
these compounds are converted into ATP by the mitochondria.
Less mitochondria means less ability to make fats and sugars
(carbohydrates) into ATP - the fuel for our muscles.
are pictures of mitochondria under a microscope. Inside the
mitochondria are specific protein enzymes that convert fats
or sugars into ATP.
(stained red) In Proximity To Muscle Fibers (blue)
out the only thing that can be done to continue to build mitochondria
as we age is, you guessed it; exercise. Researchers will now
look to creating a drug or medical treatment that could combat
loss of mitochondria. This type of genetic research and capability
is important to develop for the sake of humanity, but don't
hold your breath waiting for a "fit pill". Should
a treatment be devised it will most likely be used to fight
illness. Want to increase your mitochondria? Just exercise,
your DNA will automatically respond and synthesize more mitochondria.
less mitochondria is one of the reasons why an unfit person
cannot possibly do what a fit person can, not even if they
have steely will power. Fit persons have more mitochondria
than unfit persons. A fit person can make more energy faster
than an unfit person. The unfit person can't make fuel as
fast and can't compete. But of course all the unfit person
needs to do to even the odds is exercise. They will then make
more mitochondria and become fit. Every human being has the
innate ability to become more fit, while this ability does
decrease slightly after age 30, it isn't enough to interfere
with fitness gains, or high performance fitness. There is
a limit of course, we're not going to compete at the Olympics
at age 80, but age by its self is not enough to prevent us
from being fit and strong through our 70's and 80's.
If you're out of shape don't blame your age, blame your lack
here for more info on exercise and aging National
Institute on Aging
more articles on diet and exercise go to the
Rhino Fitness home
- 2005 Cris LaBossiere Rhino Fitness www.rhinofitness.ca