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Low-Impact Exercises for Seniors

Did you know that once you hit your 40s, you can lose about 8% of your muscles every 10 years## after that? Sarcopenia is an age-related biological muscle loss process that can lead to weakness of muscles that affects your quality of life. Though sarcopenia is unstoppable, you can do many things to slow it down. Help yourself improve muscle loss conditions with a good diet from food, alternative nutrition (eg. Ensure Gold or Ensure Gold Plant Based), and these 3 exercises.1, 6

Before we begin

To see if you have some form of muscle weakness, let us take a simple ‘Stand4Strengthmuscle age calculator test. In other words, it is a simple test to determine your existing muscle strength, mainly in the legs, to see how much work and care you will have to do.7

Stand-up Test: To help check if you are at risk

  1. Find a suitable chair height where you can sit comfortably (approx. 43 cm.).
  2. Cross your arms and place them in front of your chest and sit to stand on both legs 5 times.
  3. Time how long it takes you to do the 5 sit to stand motions.
  4. Enter your details in the Muscle Age Calculator (It will ask for your age, gender, and sit to stand time).
  5. You will get the age of your muscles, which may or may not be the same as your calendar age.

Words of caution: Be careful not to strain yourself and stop the challenge immediately if your knees start to hurt or wobble. Don’t lean back too far for leverage or you may fall backwards and cause injuries and have a friend or family for support. Please talk to your preferred medical professional for more appropriate tests if you have had a recent injury. If the number is lower than your input age, that means your muscles are more youthful. If it is higher, then you may need to learn a bit about how to build and prevent muscle loss with diet and exercise.

Yoga strengthens body and spirit

From the comfort of your home with tutorials or attending gym classes, yoga can help improve muscle strength. Stretches, movements, and breathing exercises within yoga can help uplift both the spirit and the body. Some routines can help fix bad posture due to regular muscle aches or weakness.3, 4

Try this: Warrior I pose to build up power in your legs and hips

  1. Face a wall at one arm distance, Stand up straight, arms down, position close to the body.
  2. Move the chosen leg towards the wall as if taking a step and bend your knee until it’s at nearly a right angle, while keeping the other leg stationary with toes pointed outward for balance.
  3. While you are taking the step, lift both arms up above your head at the same time.
  4. Reposition yourself back to the starting position and repeat steps for the other leg.
  5. Do multiple sets to your own limit or as instructed by an instructor for the best results and avoiding injury.

Indoors or Outdoors, Cycling gets things rolling

It may not seem like it, but bicycling is a low impact exercise. Bicycling outdoors provides fresh air, a view, and sunlight catching time for vitamin D. But for seniors who prefer the comfort of their home, stationary bikes are an option. Turn on the tv or listen to music, you can get a good workout to improve joint health, reduce high blood pressure, and reduce the risk of heart disease due to the cardio.3

The Classics of Walking

Walking is the best low-impact exercise that is easy on the joints. Set your own comfortable pace and gradually increase the difficulty. Posture (eg. back straight, shoulders rolled back) and good shoes are important to not cause injuries. For at least 30-to-60-minute sessions 5 times a week, walking can help tone leg muscles and arm muscles if their motion routines are included.2, 3

Support from within with Nutrition

You need the support of complete and balanced nutrition to provide the right amount of energy and restore muscles. Since protein is important for muscle maintenance, eggs, chicken breast, lean beef, almonds, spinach, sweet potatoes, and turkey can provide high quality protein. An important nutrient that is essential for muscle preservation is β-Hydroxy β-methylbutyric. You get it (HMB) when the body breaks down the amino acid leucine. This nutrient can be found in small amounts in avocado, citrus fruits, cauliflower, catfish, milk, chicken, soybeans, quinoa, and rice.1, 2, 5

If you ever feel like you are not hitting your nutrition goal (especially for HMB, 6500 servings of cauliflower ≙ 1.5g HMB) whilst working out and eating right, you can always use the help of alternative nutrition. For this, seniors can add Ensure Gold, the No. 1 Physician Recommended Oral Nutritional Supplement in the U.S.*, to their daily meals. With a scientific formulation of 28 essential nutrients (12 of which helps support immunity, including protein, Vitamin A, B6, B12, C, D, E, Folate and selenium, copper, zinc and iron**) and heart healthy fatty acids, 2 servings a day at 185 ml of water and 6 leveled scoops per serving, Ensure Gold can help combat sarcopenia for strength, vitality, and activity. How about for those who do not like the taste of milk? For this, the new Ensure Gold Plant Based is now available. Made from soy, rice, and quinoa plant-based proteins, it is a non-milk alternative with the same HMB benefits and immunity supporting ingredients.

To sample both Ensure options before committing to the full course, visit Ensure Myanmar today to sign up.6




*     IQVIA, using the ProVoice Survey, fielded 14,459 physicians from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021.

**   Ensure Gold contains protein, Vitamin A, B6, B12, C, D, E, Folate and selenium, copper, zinc and iron, that help support the normal function of the immune system

##  Flakoll et al. Nutrition. 2004.