Without question, the power of strength or resistance training and aging reversal is underrated. Aging is much more than grey hair or wrinkles on the face that one develops. Internally, as one's body ages, all vital organs lose some degree of their functionality. Aging produces changes that happen in every single cell, every single tissue, and every single organ. In turn, it negatively impacts all of the systems within the body and their ability to function appropriately.
The secret behind aging gracefully lies in harnessing increased strength. The answer lies in regularly investing in resistance training. Resistance training is known to aid in aging reversal! The potential for strength training lies in the ability of the human to rejuvenate and rebuild more prominent and more powerful muscle fibers known as Type II or fast-twitch muscle. The fantastic thing is that this potential can be unleashed in a short workout of about 20 minutes, even being done irregularly, say once or twice a week. The biggest benefit is that it considers safety by allowing resistance training to be customized - an important approach when considering workouts for the elderly.
In older populations, resistance training reduces oxidative stress markers and increases antioxidant enzyme activity. Melov and colleagues investigated whether resistance training affects some of the gene expressions associated with muscle aging, thus reversing the aging process. Many research and peer-reviewed studies provide solid and statistically significant evidence that strength training in older adults is beneficial for anti-aging. Further, such resistance training goes a long way to improve muscle strength and physical function. Here are 7 things one needs to know about the relationship between Resistance Training and Aging Reversal.
1. Aging Reversal is a complex process
Ageing varies from person to person. While many theories exist about the factors impacting aging, some common ones include body metabolism, exposure to harmful UV rays, genetic code, food by-products, and medication. It has various effects on the body. Commonly, aging in humans is associated with a loss of muscle and a deficit in muscular strength. Sometimes this leads to impairment in daily life activities. Typically, these changes start at 40 years of age and progressively worsen with aging in both men and women. However, regardless of the reasoning behind aging, it is confirmed that exercises, especially resistance training, play a huge role in aging reversal
2. Resistance Training influences Sarcopenia
Sarcopenia is known as the age-related loss of muscle mass, strength and muscle function. Even though it is a natural process, it is estimated that 7% of adults over 70 years of age and 20% over 80 years of age are affected by this very painful condition. As described by Simon Melov's research on this subject, published in 2007, Sarcopenia costs the health care system of the United States more than 18 billion dollars a year! There are multiple factors linked to muscle aging. This includes theories and research suggesting it is related to oxidative stress, which is a condition in which antioxidant levels are lower than usual. Other reasons include death of cells, body inflammation, hormonal dysregulation, inactivity, alternations in protein turnover. Another reason which is cellular is mitochondrial wherein the ATP energy factory in cells being to dysfunction.
3. Resistance Training increases bone density
This condition is also called DOMS or delayed onset muscle soreness. On a micro level, every participant expects aging reversal after a good and robust workout. While resistance anti-aging training does cause soreness, it makes the bone stronger and denser. When one does resistance training, it puts stress on the bones from the movement and force patterns. This leads bone-forming cells to jump to work. However, the soreness shouldn't be confused with pain in the body. Maybe it is time to let go of the blind following of the pop culture reference - 'No pain, no gain". It sure is not a sustainable approach to anti aging.
4. Resistance training enables better balance and functionality
Apart from contributing to a better-balanced body, resistance training improves functionality too. The solid muscles contribute to better daily function, which prolongs aging. Day-to-day activities, including sitting down, walking, retrieving something from a height, to even putting on shoes, require balance, flexibility, and strength. For the elderly, these activities directly mean an increased risk of falls or other catastrophic injuries but with lower fatality. Anti aging training also improves body composition. While the human body starts losing muscle mass as one crosses 30 years of age, the process accelerates over time if nothing is done about it. While aging and inactivity are mostly blamed, the lack of deeper and more meaningful muscle fiber stimulation is responsible for how we feel.
5. Resistance training improves muscle mass
The most common correlation associated with aging is the loss of muscle and strength. This affects one's metabolism, bones, and mental acuity. Beyond the age of 30, one loses approximately six pounds of muscle mass per decade. Greater muscle strength has been linked reduced mortality in men and faster metabolisms, and improved cognitive function. More muscle means more strength, better balance, and increased metabolism. One study found that older adults improved their muscle mass and strength by 30%. These scientific findings indicate that resistance training is designed to fight against obesity and obesity-related ailments. It includes diabetes, heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and cancer. In fact, maintaining muscle mass is essential to decrease the chances of obesity, especially as we age.
6. Strength training is more effective than cardio for anti aging
Resistance training and recruitment of strength-based type II muscle fibers are more effective than cardio, endurance, and aerobics for fat loss, weight control. Strength training converts the body's cells into tiny fat-burning machines. A ground breaking study found that contrary to popular opinion, long-term challenging exercise is not associated with accelerated aging if that exercise is comprised explicitly of powerlifting with entire resistance training moves like the deadlift and the squat. This strategy can even increase telomere length, meaning that the heavier the load one puts on their muscles, the longer the telomeres will tend to be.
7. Strength Training influences anti aging at the genetic level
Strength training is linked with slowing and aging reversal process at the cellular and genetic levels. This leads to an increase in energy, helping in aging reversal, improving insulin resistance, reducing mortality, and improving brain function. The study observed that older adults who did strength training at least two times a week had a 46% lower odds of death. They also had 41% lower odds of cardiac death and 19% lower odds of dying from cancer.
Strength Training makes the human body efficient: A 20-minute workout can be just as good as a 40-minute workout! Compound movements, which include more than one exercise, give one twice the benefit in half the time. Hence, one should conduct proper research to find a strength training routine that suits them. When done two or three times a week, one's body will change in remarkable ways over time. Not just that, but it will be beneficial in aiding aging reversal too. In the long term, it will dramatically improve the quality of life, as is seen in the case of older adults who participate in a regular resistance training routine often see improvements in their psychosocial well-being.