Slowing the Rate of Muscle Loss, Strength, and Flexibility as You Age

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Question: I am 70 and I have lost both balance and flexibility. I know through the years I have lost strength as well. Is it possible to recover any of that and how long will it take to see some results?

Answer: The rate of loss of muscle mass actually begins in your 30’s and remains constant until around age 70. Then it gets really unfair and the rate of loss then doubles. You can slow this rate by resistance training which helps maintain muscle mass and changes the rate of decline. That would explain your strength loss.

Not having flexibility can be altered by stretching muscle that is already warmed up by exercise. After a workout or even a simple walk, dedicate a few minutes to stretch out your hamstrings, quads and calves.

Restoring your sense of balance can be simple as well. Start by making sure you have some means of support and lift one foot off of the ground. Hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat on the other leg. You can make it more challenging by doing this on a short 2 inch block.

You can make tremendous changes in all of the areas you mentioned by beginning to train with weights. By using a full range of motion you can also improve your flexibility. Exercises like lunges also affect and improve your balance. Think of it like this; if you have limited flexibility and lose your balance you’ll fall like a tree possibly doing damage.

Training can extend your ability to remain independent as you age.

God bless and keep training,

Daryl

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