At What Age do you Start to Decline?
People who do not exercise begin to experience muscle atrophy in their mid to late 20s. This condition called sarcopenia is the gradual erosion of skeletal muscles. Left untreated, this condition can render a person in their 60s feeble with limited capabilities for body movement.
The only effective treatment for muscle atrophy is exercise. There are no drugs that will reverse the condition. Anabolic steroids will promote some muscle growth, but the many side effects are such that these drugs are issued by prescription only and banned from amateur and professional sports.
Resistance exercise is far and away the best treatment for muscle atrophy. This helps build and retain muscle mass while also building strength and functional movement capabilities.
The longer a person avoids regular exercise the more likely it is that they will develop a chronic degrative condition such as obesity, Type II diabetes, or high blood pressure.
The good news is that exercise is a powerful medicine for creating positive physical wellbeing. Most people can begin an exercise program at almost any age. The key to long term success is continuing to exercise as long as you live.
Nutrition is a necessary adjunct to resistance training. A persons diet must contain adequate protein to support muscle growth, recovery from physical training, and maintenance of other body functions.
It is generally recommended that a person doing heavy resistance training consume 1 gram of protein for each pound of bodyweight. This will vary by age as some older people do not absorb protein as efficiently as younger people.
The other caveat I offer is that in my opinion the 1 gram per pound guidance should be based on the optimal body weight for the individual. For example, if someone currently weighs 250 lbs. and their desired body weight is 180 lbs., the protein intake should be based on the 180-pound body weight.
Most people can prevent getting old before their time by doing regular exercise. Resistance training is a critical part of any exercise program.
There are many options for training at home or in a gym. The following book will give you a beginning 3-month program that will provide you with the fundamentals you need for a lifetime of fitness.