How can strength training slow the aging process?

Strength training builds muscle and can stop and reverse the process at any age. In studies of sedentary nursing-home residents between the ages of 80 and 90, a few weeks of weight training have improved strength by 50%.

Weight training also increases bone-mineral density and, over time, might reverse osteoporosis. And, adding muscle makes weight loss more realistic because muscle burns more calories than fat. Studies show that if you add 5 lb of muscle, you will burn up to 250 more calories daily. Weight training also improves posture, which makes you look and feel younger; it reduces stress; improves self image; and makes it easier for you to do all the things life involves, from carrying groceries or cleaning out a closet to playing golf or going dancing.

Effective weight training challenges muscles to a point where some muscle tissue breaks down. Then, during recovery, your body repairs and grows the muscle cells, producing a gain in the total amount of muscle tissue. The recovery time is about 48 hours, so you should schedule strength-training sessions every other day, never on consecutive days. Aim for three workouts each week. Do exercises that work compound muscles and joints.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.