American and Canadian researchers have been studying 25 senior citizens as they carried out a six-month strength-training programme and the results were more surprising than they expected.
The participants had an average age of 70 years and they were given an exercise programme that lasted one hour, twice a week, and consisted of 30 muscle contractions targeting specific muscle groups. Before the start of the programme the seniors had their muscle tissue and genes examined by the researchers.
After six months, readings were taken and the scientists were surprised at what they found.
The Buck Institute for Age Research in California issued this following prepared statement. “We were fairly surprised by the results of the study. We expected to see gene expressions that stayed fairly steady in the older adults. The fact that their ‘genetic fingerprints’ so dramatically reversed course gives credence to the value of exercise, not only as a means of improving health, but of reversing the aging process itself, which is an additional incentive to exercise as you get older.”
In fact, all the participants had literally reversed their genetic fingerprint, showing muscle tissue and gene make up of that of men aged in their 30's. Their overall strength had also increased by 50%.
This means that you are never too old to start exercising and as long as your GP checks you out first there’s no excuse not to start pumping iron.