Aging is associated with a number of physiological and functional declines that can contribute to increased disability, frailty, and falls. Contributing factors are the loss of muscle mass and strength as age increases, a phenomenon called sarcopenia. These resultant losses of muscle mass have been documented to begin occurring every decade after 30 years of age and in most sedentary populations can result in up to 5% of lost muscle mass per decade! Sarcopenia can also result or be exacerbated by certain chronic conditions, and can increase the burden of chronic disease.
So whats the good news? Current research has demonstrated that strength-training exercises have the ability to combat weakness and frailty and their debilitating consequences. In fact when done regularly (e.g., 2 to 3 days per week) at low dosages with high volume (60-80% of your maximum strength in high repetitions of 3×12-15), these exercises build muscle strength and muscle mass and preserve bone density, independence, and vitality with age. In addition to this, research has displayed that persons with poor performance at the outset can achieve improvement with even less frequent training! Additionally, strength training also has the ability to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and the signs and symptoms of numerous chronic diseases such as heart disease, arthritis, and type 2 diabetes, while also improving sleep and reducing depression.
Generally speaking this is where its an exceptional idea to contact your physiotherapist. Working together with your physio you can work to incorporate an easy to follow exercise regime that factors in not only your age and activity level but your preexisting injury history and current limitations.