Flex your muscles!

This week, the Hamilton Spectator published an article about new research that debunks a popular belief about aging and muscle loss. It has been widely accepted that sarcopenia – the loss of muscle as we age – is an inevitable, unavoidable part of getting older. However, a new study suggests that with consistent exercise and weight training programs, muscle tone and function can be retained. In the article, researchers outline that older adults do have to work harder than young people for muscle maintenance, but the good news they say, is that muscle loss is more influenced by inactivity than aging itself. 

At the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal, we review multiple studies and the best available research evidence before we come to any conclusions about healthy aging recommendations. However, one thing remains true, exercise is absolutely beneficial to your overall health. From prevention to treatment, staying active is key.

Below, we’ve compiled our evidence-based resources around the topics of physical health and aging including frailty, functional decline and exercise. 


Featured Resources

  1. Blog Post: Physical exercise can help combat signs of frailty in older adults

  2. Blog Post: Exercise programs can help reduce falls and prevent injury

  3. Blog Post: Enjoy your retirement -  but keep moving!

  4. Web Resource Rating: 5 Strengthening exercises for lower back pain

  5. Web Resource Rating: Cold water – good for muscles?

  6. Evidence Summary: Multicomponent exercise training improves physical functioning in frail older adults

  7. Evidence Summary: Elastic resistance training is effective for improving muscle strength in older adults

  8. Evidence Summary: High-intensity progressive resistance strength training for older adults improves leg strength, but training volume also has an important effect

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DISCLAIMER: Many of our Blog Posts were written before the COVID-19 pandemic and thus do not necessarily reflect the latest public health recommendations. While the content of these blogs identify activities that support optimal aging, it is important to defer to the most current public health recommendations such as social distancing and frequent hand washing. Some of the activities suggested within these blogs may need to be modified or avoided altogether to comply with current social distancing recommendations. To view the latest updates from the Public Health Agency of Canada, please visit their website

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Support for the Portal is largely provided by the Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative. AGE-WELL is a contributing partner. Help us to continue to provide direct and easy access to evidence-based information on health and social conditions to help you stay healthy, active and engaged as you grow older. Donate Today.

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