Mus­cle loss slows down the el­derly

Irish Independent - Health & Living - - UPDATE DID YOU -

÷ El­derly peo­ple walk at a slower speed and tire more quickly be­cause of loss of strength and mass in leg mus­cles, ac­cord­ing to a study. ÷ Us­ing com­puter sim­u­la­tions they found that these phys­i­o­log­i­cal changes ex­plain the slower walk­ing speed pre­ferred by the el­derly, and that a fo­cus on build­ing up these leg mus­cles may be the only ef­fec­tive­wayto im­prove el­derly walk­ing. ÷ The Jour­nal of Phys­i­ol­ogy re­search pointed out that a de­cline in walk­ing per­for­mance can lead to a less ac­tive life­style, wors­en­ing the health of el­derly peo­ple, and is di­rectly linked to a lower 10year sur­vival rate for peo­ple at age 75. ÷ The find­ings of this study sug­gest that a fo­cus on build­ing up mus­cles in the legs may be the only ef­fec­tive way to im­prove el­derly walk­ing. In other words, im­prov­ing other fea­tures such as joint flex­i­bil­ity or walk­ing strat­egy would not help nor­mal el­derly peo­ple to walk bet­ter.

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