New study shows it’s never too late to start exercising


New study shows it’s never too late to start exercising

For anyone who is a late-comer to exercise, guess what?  It’s still not too late. This is according to new research finding that exercise may benefit your body no matter what age or stage of life you start training. Published in the journal Frontiers in Physiology, researchers at the University of Birmingham’s School of Sport and Exercise Science, have made it harder to use the excuse, “I’m too old,” or “What’s the point at my age?”

It has been well-established from numerous past studies that exercise is necessary for the human body and for our health. But this new study found that older individuals who have infrequently exercised throughout their life, had the same ability to build muscle mass as older individuals who were highly trained athletes.

Research results

Scientists with the study compared muscle-building ability in two groups of older men. The first group was classed as ‘master athletes’ – people in their 70s and 80s who were lifelong exercisers and in tiptop shape.  These individuals were compared to older men of the same age who never once participated in an exercise program. Each participant in both groups was given a drink called an ‘isotope tracer’ that would measure how proteins would develop within their muscles. After drinking this isotope beverage, researchers took biopsies from the two groups of men in the 48-hour period before and after they exercised.

It was expected that the master athletes would have an increased ability to build muscle due to their superior levels of fitness over many years. What the results showed was that both groups had an equal capacity to build muscle when they participated in exercise.

One of the scientists with the study, Leigh Breen, Ph.D., stated, “Our study clearly shows that it doesn’t matter if you haven’t been a regular exerciser throughout your life, you can still derive benefit from exercise whenever you start. Obviously a long-term commitment to good health and exercise is the best approach to achieve whole-body health, but even starting later on in life will help delay age-related frailty.”

Takeaway message

Anyone who has the belief that starting an exercise regimen later in late is a waste of time should think again. Now is the time to get and get moving to ward off chronic disease, feel more energized, build muscle mass, and to live independently as long as possible. Every little bit of movement helps.  A main take away from this study is it’s not about when you start exercising that helps prevent muscle weakness but about whether you start exercising at all. When you live by the mantra, “It’s never too late for exercise,” you’ll be taking the first step toward better health and well-being.

Dr. David B. Samadi is a Urologic Oncology Expert and Robotic Surgeon located at 485 Madison Avenue on the 21st floor, New York, NY – 212-365-5000.  Follow Dr. Samadi at, and