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Strengthening active older adults for better tennis, fitness and health by Wayne L. Westcott, PhD, CSCS

Active older adults typically perform a variety of physical activities, but few of these provide progressive resistance exercise. For example, walking, running, cycling, swimming and other aerobic activities promote cardiovascular fitness, but they do not prevent the five-to-seven-pound-per-decade muscle loss associated with the aging process.

To maintain (and regain) muscle tissue, older adults must regularly perform sensible strength training. A recent study with 1,644 adults (mean age 53 years) showed an average muscle gain of 3.1 lbs. after 10 weeks of two or three weekly weight workouts. The same study revealed similar rates of muscle development for older, middle-aged and younger adults.

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