Ageing is associated with a loss in both muscle mass and in the metabolic quality of skeletal muscle. This leads to sarcopenia and reduced daily function, as well as to an increased risk for development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. A major part, but not all, of these changes are associated with an age-related decrease in the physical activity level and can be counteracted by increased physical activity of a resistive nature. Strength training has been shown to improve insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in both healthy elderly individuals and patients with manifest diabetes, and likewise to improve muscle strength in both elderly healthy individuals and in elderly individuals with chronic disease. The increased strength is coupled to improved function and a decreased risk for fall injuries and fractures. Elderly individuals have preserved the capacity to improve muscle strength and mass with training, but seem to display a reduced sensitivity towards stimulating protein synthesis from nutritional intake, rather than by any reduced response in protein turnover to exercise.

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