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Building Strong Muscles for a Strong Immune System

We often take our muscles for granted and attribute their loss as a normal part of aging. During routine medical checkups, blood pressure, pulse and weight are checked, but we often skip checking on our muscle health. We should actually safeguard our muscles because our immune system depends on it.

Here we breakdown why having strong muscles is important for a strong immune system.1, 2

Muscles tell you how healthy you are

Our muscles make up 60% of our body’s weight and we depend on them for overall structure, mobility, balance, and metabolism. The more lean muscles we have, the higher the metabolic rate because lean muscles burn a lot more energy than unhealthy ones. Weaker muscles mean less mobility to perform daily activities, breathing problems, weaker bones, weakened organ functions and mental fatigue due to loss of independence.1, 2

How muscle health effect Immunity

Just by a mere 10% muscle mass loss, an elderly’s immune system can greatly be impaired. This is because our muscles are responsible for producing certain compounds and their activations that affect immune cells. Healthier muscles reserve a higher amount of amino acids, which helps your immune system respond quicker to infections.1, 2

Minimizing Loss Tips

A proactive holistic approach to fitness and nutrition is required to prevent premature muscle strength loss and compromising the immune system:

Exercising: Exercising is a rewarding way to stay active and maintain muscle health. If you have been sedentary for an extended period, ease back into a simple workout to get your muscles active. Try wall push ups, squats with tables for stabilization, and side planks. All of these routines can be done in the comfort of your home.1, 2

Getting proper Nutrition: Nutritional intervention is fundamental in maintaining muscle strength. The elderly require 1.2g of protein per kg of body weight versus 0.8g for young adults to support their immune system. Ensure an adequate serving of quality meats, shellfish, eggs, yogurt, nuts and beans at each main meal.1, 2

Oral Nutrition: For those who find regular food hard to consume, oral nutrition can be used as replacement for part of the meals. An oral supplement, Ensure Gold, is complete with 28 vitamins, minerals, and HMB (Hydroxymethylbutyrate, a metabolite of leucine), which all supports muscle health for an  improved immune system.1, 2