11:55 AM

You’re never too old to regain that lost muscle. And you can do it at home.

The Washington Post reports men and women can regain loss of muscle mass as they age by strength training, according to experts including Jordan D. Metzl, MD, primary sports medicine physician at HSS.

“I have people who start in their 60s, 70s and even 80s,” said Dr. Metzl. “Building and maintaining strength is one of the most important things you can do at any stage of life, and it’s extremely important after age 50,” he cited. Dr. Metzl explained, “Strength training improves your 'economy of movement',” or the amount of energy you expend to complete a task. He further added, “[strength training] offloads joints, so you can do the same amount of work with less pain and lower risk of injury. You’re essentially getting more juice out of your muscles." 

As for how often to train, the weekly guidelines for generally healthy people age 50 and older aren’t any different from those for other demographics: Strength train two to three days, engage in aerobic activity at least five days at moderate intensity, or at least three days a week at high intensity, and perform a stretching routine at least two days a week. Dr. Metzl incorporates high-intensity interval training, or HIIT — short, bursts of activity (lasting 30 to 90 seconds) with recovery breaks in between. “I do HIIT with people in their 70s and 80s,” he noted. “We all change over the decades, but I don’t want people to be afraid of intensity.”

Read the full article at Washingtonpost.com. This article also appeared in print on June 11, 2020.