I have a new word to add to your lexicon – sarcopenia.  You are all familiar with it even if you have not heard the term before.  It was a new one for me, too.  

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Sarcopenia means age-related muscle wasting and was discussed in yesterday’s Star Tribune Variety section in an article entitled “Strong Arm Tactics”.  Here is an interesting statistic from that article.

“…adults who don’t have a strength-training regimen risk losing 1/2 to 2 percent of muscle mass a year between ages 30 and 80.”

The article also refers to a study published in JAMA whose test subjects (nursing home residents over the age of 90) were given a strength training regimen for 8 weeks and made major improvements in muscle mass and strength.

So no matter what your age, you need vigorous strength training three times a week to maintain (and gain – when you push yourself) muscle mass and strength.