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A Publication of WTVP

Any adult who isn’t performing strength training properly and regularly is aging faster than they should. Dr. Ted Lambrinides said, "We are romantically attached to our vascular system and programs that focus on vascular disease. Meanwhile, our elderly population unnecessarily rots away, because they are effectively immobilized due to easily correctable muscular weakness."

Dr. Richard Winett added, "It is remarkable how many motivated older people are sorely short-changed by placing them in programs that do very little to improve their daily functioning. They are literally being deprived of the one intervention, strength training, which can make a profound difference in their lives. One can only imagine the outcry if a particular medication was being withheld that could restore and preserve daily functioning."

The most common cause of death noted on death certificates in the United States is cardiovascular insufficiency. This is especially prevalent among age-related deaths. It’s true the vascular system is the vital organ that ultimately fails, but this misleads us. In many cases, cardiovascular insufficiency is the "end result"-not the actual cause of death.

Quite often the real cause of death among the elderly is immobility. Immobility refers to the inability to move. It doesn’t necessarily refer to inactivity. Once the bones, joints, and muscles are so debilitated that movement becomes impossible, eventual cardiovascular insufficiency leads to death. However, strength training studies in recent years performed with 80- and 90-year-old subjects have shown significant increases in strength and muscle mass are possible at an advanced age.

Individuals who once depended upon canes, walkers, and wheelchairs to help them perform daily activities no longer required these devices. According to Dr. William Evans of the U. S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, the single most critical step not only to retard, but to reverse, the aging process, is strength training.

Starting at approximately age 25 to 30, and continuing into our senior years, all people lose muscle tissue and strength. This loss of muscle tissue directly and indirectly causes many of the so-called age related declines in physical capacity and appearance. Worst of all, if we allow muscular weakness to continue into our senior years, it’s possible to lose our independence. Recreational-type activities such as walking, tennis, golf, etc., though healthy for other reasons, can’t reverse, let alone halt, muscle tissue loss. 

What all adults suffer from isn’t too little physical activity, but muscle tissue loss. Stopping muscle loss is of utmost importance to all adults-especially adults 40 years of age and older. Strength training is an available and powerful fountain of youth. Performed properly, it provides more health benefits than any other single form of exercise. IBI

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