These findings indicate that senior men and women improve their bodyweight and body composition about the same as younger adults in response to a basic program of strength and endurance exercise. It is interesting to note that the seniors developed lean (muscle) tissue at the same rate as the other program participants. Replacing muscle is essential for seniors, because sedentary individuals lose over five pounds of lean tissue every decade of adult life 16. By adding 2.4 pounds of muscle, the seniors in this study reversed almost five years of the aging process after just two months of strength training.
Blood Pressure Changes
All three age groups began the basic fitness program with similar diastolic blood pressure readings (76.1 mm Hg to 80.1 mm Hg). However, the average systolic blood pressure for the 61 to 80 year olds was considerably higher (143.1 mm Hg) than for the 41 to 60 year olds (127.9 mm Hg) and the 21 to 40 year olds (121.2 mm Hg).