George Burns (who lived to be 100) used to say, "If I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself!" Yes, some individuals are blessed with good genes, and no matter how many unhealthy lifestyle habits they have, they're going to live a long life. But for the rest of us who might be concerned with quality of life, exercise is one of the main keys especially as we age. For many reasons, as we get older there is a tendency to feel under arrest when it comes to physical activity. Truth is, whatever your age, exercise can help.
Muscle mass decreases as we age. Beginning in the fourth decade of life, adults lose 3%-5% of muscle mass per decade, and the decline increases to 1%-2% per year after age 50. Our muscles not only keep us strong and fit but they also burn calories which helps us maintain our weight. Muscle mass also contributes to overall balance and bone strength. Without it, we can lose our independence and our mobility.
Is it ever too late to start? Research has proven it's not. The benefits of exercising are substantial to everyone no matter how old you may be. The good news is that muscle mass can increase at any age in response to exercise and you always have the right to remain active! We encourage you to talk to your doctor about the type and amount of exercise activity that is right for you and your health.