As we age, we lose muscle mass and our body strength declines. We find it difficult to perform some activities we usually did with ease when we were younger. Typically, people start to experience these changes at the age of 40 and progressively worsen as they get older.
Exercising throughout the middle of your life becomes more important than ever. Not only does it make you feel better, but also, it allows you to perform activities better. On top of that, a study even showed that exercise, particularly, resistance training, like Reformer Pilates, can rejuvenate muscles in middle aged adults.
Muscle strength and gains are key benefits our Reformer Pilates members achieve. In middle aged adults, resistance training can also increase mitochondrial capacity. Mitochondria act as the powerhouse of the cells.
What The Research Tells Us
Multiple studies suggested that mitochondrial dysfunction (failure to produce enough energy for the body to function properly) is associated with muscle loss and movement challenges commonly occurring in middle aged people.
A study written by Simon Melov PhD et al involved 25 healthy older adults and 26 healthy younger adults. The researchers examined their gene expression profiles prior and post resistance training and compared each other’s results.
The age of the younger group ranges from 20-35 with an average age of 26. The older group where the participants were older than 65, had an average age of 70.
None of the participants took medication or had illnesses that can affect mitochondrial function.
A muscle biopsy was taken from the vastus lateralis muscle in the thigh. Fourteen of the older participants performed resistance training twice weekly on non-consecutive days (Monday and Thursday or Tuesday and Friday) for 26 weeks. They were required to perform static stretching before and after each training session.
Each session ran an hour in length and involved 30 contractions of each muscle group involved. The strength test was based on knee flexion.
Although the older participants were generally active, they never had formal weight training in the past. The younger adults were non-smokers and non-athletes, and were fairly inactive or participated in modest recreational activities.
The exercise placed the older adults’ genetic fingerprint back to levels closer to those of the younger adults. In terms of muscle strength, the older participants were 59% weaker than younger participants. But after only 6 months of training, they were only 38% weaker.
The researchers also noted that mitochondrial impairment, which is commonly seen with inactivity, was reversing with resistance training.
Knowing that the older adults’ genetic fingerprints significantly reversed simply shows how valuable the right exercise is. Not only in the way it improves health but also how it rejuvenates muscle tissues, which is a bonus for the us at any age.
Resistance training doesn’t just slow down ageing. It reverses the ageing process at the gene level.
To look and feel younger, you don’t need to spend hours in the gym. With the right weekly routine of Reformer Pilates, you can transform your life!
The fountain of youth may be just a myth, but perhaps the closest thing to it really does exist.
It’s never too late to start exercising. Why not book a Reformer Pilates session with us? Call us today on 9272 7359 or click here to book in for your free Pilates Body Assessment.
Melov S, Tarnopolsky MA, Beckman K, Felkey K, Hubbard A. Resistance Exercise Reverses Aging in Human Skeletal Muscle. Wenner P, ed. PLoS ONE. 2007;2(5):e465. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000465.