The question of whether your muscles look old is probably not something that you hear every day. Now you could ask a similar question about your face, skin, clothes or even your car … but your muscles? When we talk about our muscles, we typically focus on size, shape, or strength. But, have you ever stopped to wonder what goes deep inside?
We all heard how important exercise is when we get older. As much exercise as possible, functional strength training to improve daily activities, as well as mobility and stability training to protect ourselves has become a hymn for over 40. But a recent Mayo Clinic study in Rochester, Minn. Has recently figured out how to put these ingredients together, which can have a profound effect on the body.
The study divides sedentary men and women into four groups: intensive strength training, interval training (cycling), moderate cardio and light weight (not in the same workout, on different days), and non-exercise to control the effects of different types of training regimes to examine the body. The results were compared based on the modality and age of the exercisers (half were under 30 and the other half older than 64).
As you can imagine, the muscle gains in the heaviest group were the most significant weight-lifting, and the endurance gains were best in the group that did interval training. But what surprised the scientists was what they found when they biopsied the muscle cells. The younger interval training group had affected 274 genes (1
But what does that have to do with your muscles looking old, you say? Glad you were asked … the affected cells are believed to affect the ability of the mitochondria to produce energy for the muscle cells. In other words, the decline that typically occurs in the cellular health of aging-related muscles has been "corrected" by exercise! And the more intense the exercise, the better.
Conclusion: move early and often. But even if you retire and have never exercised, it's never too late to start getting the benefits. The amount of time you train may vary, but push yourself as you can, as intensity seems to be the most important part! After all, you can not "see" the results from the outside, but do not stop. What happens deep inside is really magical.
If you are looking for a good workout for your muscles, try this interval bike workout: http://blog.anytimefitness.com/push-30-minute-interval-biking-training/