Why paying attention to muscle strength is important as we age
Muscle strength gives us the mobility to accomplish everyday tasks but we tend to think that it is only for body building purposes. Basic movements such as bending, lifting, and walking, in fact, utilizes major muscle groups which is why how we develop muscle strength matters as we age.
Here, we break down why our muscles are important and why developing muscle strength is crucial as we age.1
Everything is muscle powered
We have over 600 muscles in the body and each of our movement–including breathing– is supported by our muscles. Engaging in strength or resistance training does not require a complicated exercise regime or many hours in the gym. Activities such as stretching before getting out of bed, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, a half hour or brisk walking per day, and drinking plenty of water can maintain muscle mobility.1
When does muscle loss happen?
Due to other preoccupations in your life, taking proper care of your muscles may not be a priority. It may not seem much at first, but from 40 years on, we gradually lose up to 8 percent of our muscle every decade. We do not pay enough attention to the loss until we have to get treated for the problems like weak legs, painful joints, and loss of grip.1
Depending on your level of daily physical activity, you will notice that you can no longer physically enjoy the activities you did in your 30s. Since your body has to expend more energy to keep up, you will feel more exhausted than usual. Having difficulty getting up from a chair, dropping items, out of breath after a short walk, frequent falls, and slow recovery are all warning signs of muscle loss. Once you start experiencing any combination of these things, it is a chain reaction and it will make you more likely to get injured again.1
How Good Nutrition can help
Muscle and strength loss as you age is not an inevitability. Its gradual loss can be slowed down.
Along with a simple exercise regimen, a well-balanced nutrition can help our bodies maintain and rebuild muscle. Try including these nutrients:
- Protein: It improves body tissue building rate. Seniors need twice as much protein as young adults, so not getting enough can cause our bodies to break down our own muscles to get it, which increases muscle loss rate. Protein source: poultry, eggs, beans, and meats.
- Vitamins: A variety supports muscle strength and density
- Zinc: helps the body produce testosterone to aid recovery from exercise and for heart health
- Magnesium: helps with muscle contraction. A deficiency can cause fatigue and cramps
- HMB (Hydroxymethylbutyrate): a metabolite of leucine supports muscle health. To get the best daily serving of HMB, enjoy Ensure Gold at 1 or 2 servings a day. Complete with 28 vitamins and minerals, Ensure Gold provides balanced nutrition to support muscle health as you age.2
If diet alone does not improve how you feel, a little more rigorous exercise routine may be required on top of it. Add weight training, resistance training, yoga, or aerobics to improve muscles and mobility. Within half of a year of any proper exercise regime added, you might gain back more than seven years of lost muscle. Make the right choices early to live a great life as you age.