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6 Reasons Why Maintaining Muscle Strength Matters

Use it or lose it is not just a high powered motivational expression. When it concerns our muscle health, working on them can give us a higher quality of life. After even a few days of being sedentary, any sort of activity after feels harder than it is. Here we take a look at the reasons why maintaining a muscle strength matters for seniors.1

It keeps joints in good shape: The condition where the cartilage between joints breaks down with age is called Osteoarthritis, which causes stiffness in the extremities. With bone mass already decreasing due to aging, pain and inflammation begins to affect other parts of the body. Increasing the resistance in those areas with exercise, prevents their early breakdown. And by making muscles stronger, it will allow them to function better around the joints.1, 3

Regain Your balance: If your joints have better resistance to wear and tear and the muscles supporting them function well, you maintain your balance. Loss of balance is one of the major characteristics of frailty that comes with aging. With strong healthy muscles, your body’s response to any lateral changes will be corrected immediately to regain balance.12

Prevents Falls: One of the major causes of elderly injuries are from falls. Falls occur due to loss of balance from decreased quality in muscles. Losing strength in one area, makes your body rely heavily on another, thus unbalancing the center of gravity. Frequent leg stretches, resistance exercises, and regular inclined walks will strengthen the leg muscles to prevent falls.1, 2, 3

Maintain Stamina: As we age, we find ourselves wishing we had the same level of stamina of our earlier years. A decline in strength causes us to get easily fatigued and something as simple as getting out of bed becomes a chore. To maintain stamina, first do not compare yourself to someone who has been a lifelong gym enthusiast. Resistance training that is specific for older adults not only increases stamina, it enhances how your body spends it and improves your general well being.1, 4

 Improves Metabolism and Immunity: As we age, the lost muscle has the potential of being replaced by fat. Excessive fat keeps your body on constant strain, which causes inflammation. Healthy muscles burn nearly double the energy when compared to unhealthy ones with excessive fat. Muscle density has a direct effect on your resting metabolic rate, which is the energy required to keep things running in the body. Healthier muscles helps reserve amino acids better to support the immune system by being lean. The healthier we are, the more our muscles can release the molecules required to reduce inflammation, thus preventing us from getting sick often.1, 4, 6

Maintains Independence: Having more energy and stamina helps an elderly maintain independence. Not only does working on your muscles keep you physically fit, it also improves mental health and overall cognitive function. When you do not have to depend on others, you can focus on your hobbies and enjoying life. Play hide and seek with grandchildren, participate in group Tai Chi sessions, carrying your own groceries, and using the stairs, everything feels free without stiff joints and weak muscles.1, 2

A balanced diet full of protein, an essential for building muscles, combined with exercise will vastly improve the quality of life. Eat plenty of fish, high quality red meats, beans, omega-3 rich nuts, calcium rich foods for bones and walk out in sunlight every now and then for Vitamin D. Everyone’s dietary needs differ and you may not get all what you need through food. To have supplement what you are missing, you can get the help of nutritional supplements. Ensure Gold, formulated with 28 vitamins and minerals, and HMB (a metabolite of essential amino acid leucine, a building block of protein for muscle health) to fill in where food cannot for maintaining muscle strength.5



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