I truly believe one of the biggest goals for any individual is to keep muscle mass or better yet build muscle mass as one ages. Think of muscle as a retirement account. Do you have enough muscle to age well?
Numerous studies have shown that muscle mass is critical for health. It used to be thought that after 40 a certain amount was guaranteed to be lost. We know this isn't the case anymore. 80 year olds can have the same muscle in the thigh as a much younger person when they work for it.
Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle. It is often thought that when the body hits a certain amount of loss of muscle that is when you die, whether from cancer, pneumonia or other diseases. The body isn't strong enough any longer to maintain function.
This article does a very nice job of talking about the importance of muscle as we age. How do They Do it. I don't love the Super Slow McGruff style lifting that is promoted, but I love that they are promoting lifting.