If you’re looking to live a longer life, new research indicates that you should focus on building up and increasing your muscle mass. According to a recent study that examined data from over 3,600 adults over the age of 55 and was published online in the American Journal of Medicine, the greater an individual’s muscle mass is, the lower their risk of death.
The study, which reviewed data from men ages 55 and older and women ages 65 and older over a 6 year time period. This data was combined with a follow-up survey conducted 10 years later. Researchers found a strong association between muscle mass and death risk, where the greater an individuals muscle mass was during the 6 year time period, the less likely the person was to have died by the time the follow-up survey was conducted.
While future studies still need to be conducted to reveal if there is a direct cause-and-effect relationship, these finding still correlate with the growing body of evidence that indicates that analyzing an individuals overall body composition (in comparison to measuring their body mass index) is a more effective gauge for predicting all-cause deaths.
There are countless ways to increase your muscle mass index, and future studies should also take a look at the most effective techniques and the amount of time for older adults to spend exercising in order to improve muscle mass.
In the mean time, there are a number of home exercise plans that can be followed. Pedometers can be helpful in making sure you’re walking and getting enough movement throughout the day. If you have a lot of aches and pains, try enrolling in an aquatic fitness class, the water helps put less stress on your joints so you can move around with less pain!