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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

News

University study: never too late to get into fitness

Older people who have never taken part in sustained exercise programmes have the same ability to build muscle mass as highly trained master athletes of a similar age.

That is the headline finding of research by the University of Birmingham, which showed that even those who are entirely unaccustomed to exercise can benefit from resistance exercises such as weight training.

The study, published in Frontiers in Physiology, compared muscle-building ability in two groups of older men.

The first group were classed as ‘master athletes’ – people in their 70s and 80s who are lifelong exercisers and still competing at top levels in their sport. The second group consisted of healthy individuals of a similar age, who had never participated in structured exercise programmes.

Each participant was given an isotope tracer, in the form of a drink of ‘heavy’ water, and then took part in a single bout of exercise, involving weight training on an exercise machine.

The researchers took muscle biopsies from participants in the 48 hour periods just before and just after the exercise, and examined these to look for signs of how the muscles were responding to the exercise.

The isotope tracer showed how proteins were developing within the muscle.

The researchers had expected that the master athletes would have an increased ability to build muscle due to their superior levels of fitness over a prolonged period of time. In fact, the results showed that both groups had an equal capacity to build muscle in response to exercise.

Dr Leigh Breen, lead researcher, said: "Our study clearly shows that it doesn’t matter if you haven’t been a regular exerciser throughout your life, you can still derive benefit from exercise whenever you start.

"Obviously a long term commitment to good health and exercise is the best approach to achieve whole-body health, but even starting later on in life will help delay age-related frailty and muscle weakness.

"Current public health advice on strength training for older people is often quite vague. What’s needed is more specific guidance on how individuals can improve their muscle strength, even outside of a gym-setting through activities undertaken in their homes – activities such as gardening, walking up and downstairs, or lifting up a shopping bag can all help if undertaken as part of a regular exercise regime."

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Older people who have never taken part in sustained exercise programmes have the same ability to build muscle mass as highly trained master athletes of a similar age.
SAR,HAF,FIT,IND,PTS,ACD,RES,SSC
imagesX/THUMB342980_451589_36816.jpg
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News

University study: never too late to get into fitness

Older people who have never taken part in sustained exercise programmes have the same ability to build muscle mass as highly trained master athletes of a similar age.

That is the headline finding of research by the University of Birmingham, which showed that even those who are entirely unaccustomed to exercise can benefit from resistance exercises such as weight training.

The study, published in Frontiers in Physiology, compared muscle-building ability in two groups of older men.

The first group were classed as ‘master athletes’ – people in their 70s and 80s who are lifelong exercisers and still competing at top levels in their sport. The second group consisted of healthy individuals of a similar age, who had never participated in structured exercise programmes.

Each participant was given an isotope tracer, in the form of a drink of ‘heavy’ water, and then took part in a single bout of exercise, involving weight training on an exercise machine.

The researchers took muscle biopsies from participants in the 48 hour periods just before and just after the exercise, and examined these to look for signs of how the muscles were responding to the exercise.

The isotope tracer showed how proteins were developing within the muscle.

The researchers had expected that the master athletes would have an increased ability to build muscle due to their superior levels of fitness over a prolonged period of time. In fact, the results showed that both groups had an equal capacity to build muscle in response to exercise.

Dr Leigh Breen, lead researcher, said: "Our study clearly shows that it doesn’t matter if you haven’t been a regular exerciser throughout your life, you can still derive benefit from exercise whenever you start.

"Obviously a long term commitment to good health and exercise is the best approach to achieve whole-body health, but even starting later on in life will help delay age-related frailty and muscle weakness.

"Current public health advice on strength training for older people is often quite vague. What’s needed is more specific guidance on how individuals can improve their muscle strength, even outside of a gym-setting through activities undertaken in their homes – activities such as gardening, walking up and downstairs, or lifting up a shopping bag can all help if undertaken as part of a regular exercise regime."

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Older people who have never taken part in sustained exercise programmes have the same ability to build muscle mass as highly trained master athletes of a similar age.
SAR,HAF,FIT,IND,PTS,ACD,RES,SSC
imagesX/THUMB342980_451589_36816.jpg

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Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Connect for success with Precor
Members are returning post-lockdown expecting a fully integrated service, meaning digital connectivity has never been more important.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Red light therapy improves sleep, aids recovery and enhances focus
Offering red light therapy to your members can create a valuable source of secondary spend, while also supporting them with their recovery and delivering improvements to mobility, circulation and muscle soreness.
Company profiles
Company profile: IONTO Health & Beauty GmbH
IONTO-COMED offers a wide range of treatment beds offering maximum flexibility and the symbiosis of ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Legend Club Management Systems (UK) Ltd
Legend provides the leading software solution for driving improvements in leisure operations. We deliver savings ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Management software
fibodo Limited: Management software
Salt therapy products
Saltability: Salt therapy products
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
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Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
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