One study shows that the benefits of physical activity are the same in older people who have never played sports as in those who do their whole life.
It's never too late to try sports ... even when you're over 70 years old. In Frontiers in PhysiologyResearchers have found that people aged 70 to 80 who have never played sports constitute as much muscle mass through physical exercise as people of the same age who have done so all their lives.
VS athletes non-athletes
The research team from the University of Birmingham recruited two teams of participants to conduct the study: the first was made up of athletes who had been playing sports for life and who still had excellent physical abilities, and the second of healthy people who had never played sports. Their average age was between 70 and 80 years old.
A similar development of muscle mass
All participants performed physical exercises on machines and weights. The researchers performed biopsies 48 hours before and after the sports session to analyze the muscles' response to these activities. Using an isotopic tracer to analyze the chemical reactions, they found that the muscles were developing in the same way in both groups, whereas they expected better results for the athletes. "Our study shows that if you have not exercised regularly for your life, it does not matter," says Dr. Leigh Breen, lead author of the research, "you can enjoy the benefits of physical exercise from the moment you start. "
Daily activities are part of physical exercise
The researcher, however, calls for common sense: each little extra effort is beneficial, it is not necessary to want to do too much right away. "Activities like gardening, going up or down the stairs, or carrying bags can help," he says. This statement follows the recommendations of the World Health Organization. In the concept of physical activity, it also includes household chores, walking or fun activities. WHO advises people over the age of 65 to have at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week.