Build Muscle Mass

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​A recent study could help convince seniors of the value of exercise, particularly programs that increase muscle mass.
New research has found that if seniors want to prolong their lives and, especially, avoid cardiovascular disease, they need to put their efforts toward maintaining muscle mass as they age, rather than focusing on weight loss. As a matter of fact, this new research applies even to seniors who have high cardiovascular risk.

Having a high level of muscle mass helps reduce risk of death, regardless of body fat, says this new study on the importance of assessing body composition as a way to help predict cardiovascular and total mortality in people with cardiovascular disease, which most often are senior citizens.

Researchers from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA found that cardiovascular disease patients who have high muscle mass and low fat mass have a lower mortality risk than those with other body compositions. Their findings also suggest that regardless of a person's level of fat mass, a higher level of muscle mass helps reduce the risk of death.

The researchers examined data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999 to 2004, of 6,451 participants who had prevalent cardiovascular disease.

Each subject was categorized into one of four groups:

  • low muscle/low fat mass
  • low muscle/high fat mass
  • high muscle/low fat mass
  • high muscle/high fat mass

Those with high muscle mass and low fat mass had the lowest risk of cardiovascular and total mortality.

There are other ways for seniors to improve health and remain independent at home. Why not consider the help and companionship of a Home Instead® CAREGiverSM? A CAREGiver could assist those who live alone around the house and provide the reassurance family caregivers need to ease their worries. Contact your local office today to learn more.

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