Above you see Winifred Pristell, age 70. She began to exercise when she was 47. At 60 she began to lift weights. She now holds the world record in deadlift and bench press in her age and weight category. At a bodyweight of 180, she can deadlift 270 and bench 175.
With this specific example, we can consider the coming tsunami of baby-boomers cresting over 60 and the spike in heart disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia, cancer and many other lifestyle diseases those of us in the health care industry expect to see follow shortly thereafter.
Lean body mass, as a percentage of total body mass, is one of the easily controlled factors determining health, youth and physical independence. As we get older we lose muscle mass. We lose 0.5-1% per years after our mid-30s. Consider that something as simple as 2 hours of weightlifting a week can maintain muscle mass for another 2 decades and thus the loss associated in the 30s would not occur until the 50s!
Tracey et al 1999 studied 23 seniors who had no previous training experience. The seniors performed 4 warm up sets and 4 work sets 3xweek. After 9 weeks, they had increased strength 28%, muscle volume 12% and muscle quality improved 15%.
The average person in the group was 69 years old. It is never too late to start. Exercise prevents aging, weight training prevents osteoporosis, aerobic activity helps regulate metabolic syndromes. Regardless of where you are- go to the gym, the park, the dancehall, the track or the field and move. Your grandchildren will thank you.