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Staying Physically Active May Help Preserve Muscle Mass and Function

Physical exercise can provide many health benefits, including relieving feelings of anxiety and blood sugar benefits. According to a new study, keeping physically active throughout adult life may help protect against age-related loss of muscle mass and function.

Participants in the study included 46 males who were divided into 3 groups:

  1. 16 lifelong recreational exercisers with an average age of 73.
  2. 15 sedentary adults with an average age of 73.
  3. 15 sedentary young adults with an average age of 26.

The participants performed a heavy resistance exercise to evaluate muscle function. Blood samples and muscle biopsies were taken and used to evaluate muscle fiber deterioration and the number of muscle stem cells present.

Participants in the lifelong exercisers group had better muscle function compared to those in the elderly and young sedentary groups. They also had less deterioration of muscle fibers and a greater number of muscle cells compared to the elderly sedentary group.

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Copenhagen. It was published online ahead of print on February 28, 2022 in The Journal of Physiology.

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