This picture has been doing the rounds of a lot of the health and fitness social media lately, why?
Well, the main reason is the stark comparison of the active over 70 with the sedentary over 70. In the pic you can see three MRI scans taken as a cross section of the thigh. You can see the difference in muscle density for yourself.
The muscles in the top of the cross-section are the quadriceps- a group of big bulky muscles in the front of your thigh. These guys get you in and out of a chair (squatting muscles), and help control the bend in your knee when walking and going up or down stairs. One of the biggest concerns in the elderly population is falls. The risk of fractures or not being able to get up form the floor are pretty serious when you’re over 70.
Strong quadriceps that can make getting in and out of chairs, walking, or negotiating stairs easier, are a no-brainer.
Normal adults begin to lose muscle mass after age 30 at a rate of approximately 3-5% per decade if we are relatively inactive. The old adage of use it or lose it certainly rings true in this instance. Obviously there are lots of other risk-factors associated with falls, but muscle mass is one that you can take control of yourself.
The amazing thing is that there is no reason for this to be a part of normal ageing. All adults can build significant increases in muscle mass and strength with fairly simple programs, even in your 80s and 90s!
A review published in The American Journal of Medicine showed that 18-20 weeks of progressive resistance training can give the average adult an increase of over one kilo of muscle mass and a 25-30% increase in strength- amazing!
Trying to make strength training simple, accessible and fun is really important to us at MOJO. To that end we try to provide a variety of options to get you going.
Simple Strength Our basic resources for people who don’t like spending hours working out.
Back on track. Our program for people who want support to get back into exercise.
Physiotherapy Assessment. Book in with our physiotherapist to combat any niggles, injuries or worries you have about starting an exercise program.