This is definitively no easy topic as it is highly debatable among experts. Obviously both weight-training and cardio are included in a well-rounded fitness plan. While the first works on building muscle mass, the latter focuses on losing fat. But as a person ages, the question about which one is best arises.
Today we make the case that weight training is better than cardio for a person in their 60s and older.
How Muscles Work After 45
Those of us who are on the brink of our 40s nostalgically remember what our youth was like - cardio, lifting, and the whole iron-pumping stuff. We don't believe it has to be any different today but we feel that our muscles do not work the same way they did when we were on our 20s.
We are glad to tell you that that is wrong. You should put yourself to the test and compare with a 20-something-year-old. A study conducted by the University of Oklahoma had 24 young (aged 18-25) and 25 middle-aged (35-50) observe the same routine for 8 months. At the end, the results in both groups were the same, except for a little more muscle built by the middle-aged persons.
Doctors all agree that we lose 1% of our body muscle after 40 if we do not exercise. By the time we turn 85, 40% of your muscle is gone if you do not exercise.
The Case for Weight Training
The risk of losing that amount of muscle while you get older should identify a strong case for weight-training. If a person over 60 is losing muscle at this rate, their ability to perform simple physical tasks decreases as they grow older. We're talking about simple activities such as opening a can, walking down the pavement, or even lifting up the toilet seat.
This loss of muscle leads to other situations, such as decreased power, muscle mass, and bone density. There is no age for working out, but it should be at all ages in order to guarantee fit muscles by the time you turn 90 years old.