If you’re above a certain age and believe that there’s little point in starting to get more exercise now, whether that’s by going to the gym or going for some netball classes in Wandsworth, perhaps, it seems that this is not the case at all.
New research from the University of Birmingham has found that even those people who are completely unaccustomed to exercise and keeping fit can benefit from exercises like weight training.
The study looked at people in their 70s and 80s who were either lifelong exercisers and still able to compete at the top level in their chosen sport, as well as those of a similar age who had never taken part in structured exercise programmes.
Each individual was given an isotope tracer before doing some exercise and weight training on a machine. Muscle biopsies were then taken before and after the exercise, and examined to see how the muscles were responding.
The expectation was that the master athletes would have an increased ability to build muscle because of their levels of fitness over the years, but it was found that both groups displayed an equal capacity to build muscle through exercise.
Commenting on the findings, Dr Leigh Breen – lead researcher – said: “Obviously a long term commitment to good health and exercise is the best approach to achieve whole-body health, but even starting later on in life will help delay age-related frailty and muscle weakness.
“Current public health advice on strength training for older people is often quite vague. What’s needed is more specific guidance on how individuals can improve their muscle strength, even outside of a gym-setting through activities undertaken in their homes – activities such as gardening, walking up and down stairs, or lifting up a shopping bag can all help if undertaken as part of a regular exercise regime.”
If you are slightly older and want to start getting more exercise, remind yourself that it’s never too late to get fit. Walking is one of the best ways to start since you don’t need any special equipment and it won’t put too much stress and strain on your joints, unlike running.
Swimming is also something else you could consider, since this also helps to protect your body while you get some exercise. And then, once you’re feeling a bit more fit and active, what about joining us for a fun netball class to see what skills you have? Even if you aren’t especially good at the sport, there’s always room for improvement and you’ll make a lot of friends as you grow in confidence. Get in touch with us today to find out more.