London - Taking up exercise in your 70s or 80s can still have major benefits even after a lifetime on the couch, a study has found.
Experts discovered that elderly participants who had never done structured exercise before still benefited from gym sessions. Surprisingly, they had the same ability to build muscle as highly-trained "master athletes" of the same age.
Researchers said even walking up stairs can pay dividends.
The University of Birmingham scientists compared muscle-building ability in two groups of elderly men. The first were the athletes – seven lifelong exercisers in their 70s and 80s.
In the second were eight healthy individuals of a similar age, who had never tried structured exercise.