If you are looking to feel great, stay young, and turn back the clock on your body and muscles, you need to lift weights. A study led by Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky shows that just 6 months of weight training can reverse many of the effects aging has on our muscular strength and return the genes associated with muscle loss and other aging related conditions to a more youthful state.
The subjects in the study consisted of two groups: older and younger men and women with average ages of 70 and 28 years old respectively. Both groups performed basic strength training workouts twice a week for 6 months. The workouts consisted of doing an hour long session of basic exercises for 10 reps per set.
Results from the study show that the older subjects improved their strength by about 50% to end up just 38% less strong than the younger subjects. This is after starting the study 59% weaker than the younger men and women in the study. Further follow-up four months after the study ended shows that the subjects retained the muscle mass and strength they gained during the study. Analysis of the older subjects genes find that exercise returned them to be expressed similarly to those of a younger person.
So, in addition to following a diet that contains optimal amounts of high quality protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates you should also include some form of strength training on a regular basis to keep your body strong and young.
The fountain of youth may indeed be found in your gyms weight room.
Melov S, Tarnopolsky MA, Beckman K, Felkey K, Hubbard A. Resistance exercise reverses aging in human skeletal muscle. PLoS ONE. 2007 May 23;2(5):e465.