Muscle Mass and Middle Age

(“Canadian Health” (Winter 2011).

Dr. Greg Wells, a Toronto-based sports scientist was recently interviewed in Canadian Health magazine on his views of the importance of lean muscle mass through weight training in improving the health of middle aged men. Some of the benefits he cited were:

  • Increase in metabolic rate allowing you to burn more calories and thus reduce risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Fat is inert but muscle is active even at rest so calories have to be burned just to keep that muscle alive.
  • Protection of joints by stabilizing them, thus relieving them of having to do all the work when carrying loads. Stronger joints will also reduce risk of osteoarthritis, falls and fractures that can increase with age. Muscle mass itself provides a protective layer to the bones if you do fall, lessening the chance or severity of fractures.
  • Look and feel better by reducing flab and wasting appearance of aging. Says Dr. Wells: “Exercise is proven to prevent almost every chronic disease. If you want to be healthy and fit over your whole life, a combination of strength, cardio and flexibility is the ticket.”
  • Increased stamina and can potentially give you a better sex life. “At least you’ll be less likely to fall asleep from exhaustion afterwards”, says Wells.

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