Muscle mass naturally decreases as you age, but that doesn’t mean you have to lose all muscle strength in the golden years. In fact, there are many things you can do to maintain muscle mass as you get older.
Maintaining muscle mass is crucial to maintaining independence and overall health as you age. In this blog, we will share five tips on how to maintain muscle mass as you age:
1. Engage In Regular Exercise:
Regular exercise is not only a crucial part of our Balanced Care Method™, but it is crucial in maintaining muscle mass as you age.
Physical activity that targets muscle groups can help improve strength and prevent muscle loss. Resistance training with weights, resistance bands, or body weight exercises can be an effective way to build and maintain muscle mass. Additionally, activities like walking, jogging, and swimming can help promote overall fitness and support muscular health.
If you or your senior loved one find that certain limitations make it hard to get out of the house, try some indoor exercises instead. This can include chair exercises, yoga, or simply finding an online channel with more ideas for at-home workouts.
2. Consume A Protein-Rich Diet:
Your body needs protein to build and maintain muscle mass.
We recommend adding protein-rich foods to your diet, such as lean meat, fish, eggs, beans, or nuts to support muscular health. It’s recommended that adults consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
And don’t forget how far fruits and vegetables can go! They’re packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of chronic diseases.
If you’re not sure where to start adjusting your diet, you may try consulting with a registered dietitian to create a personalized meal plan that meets your specific needs.
3. Stay Hydrated:
Staying hydrated is crucial, yet often overlooked, in maintaining muscle mass.
Water helps transport nutrients and oxygen to the muscles, keeping them healthy and functioning at their best. Adequate hydration also helps to prevent dehydration, which can cause fatigue, muscle weakness, and cramps.
Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water per day, and even more if you are regularly exercising or sweating.
Many people find that having a reusable water bottle with them at all times helps them to stay on track with their hydration goals. If you think this would help you, too, start shopping for a sturdy water bottle that’s easy to take with you everywhere.
4. Prioritize Rest and Recovery:
Exercise is an important part of aging well, but remember that it must be balanced with rest and recovery.
Rest and recovery are essential in maintaining muscle mass as you age. Adequate rest allows your body to repair and rebuild muscle tissue. If you are constantly pushing your body too far, it will not have time to recover, and you may end up losing muscle mass.
If you find that a certain muscle hurts more than usual, try using ice or a heating pad to help it recover. If the pain persists after several days of treatment, you may want to see a doctor or specialist who can help you heal.
And don’t forget: the basics like adequate sleep, stress management, and relaxation techniques—like meditation or yoga—can support muscle recovery and overall health. So make sure to add them into your daily routine!
5. Work With A Professional:
If you find that these techniques are not working for you, remember that there are professionals out there who have the experience and education necessary to help you.
Working with a professional, like a personal trainer or physical therapist, can help create an exercise plan that meets your specific needs and abilities.
A professional can help you identify the best exercises to build and maintain muscle mass and provide guidance on proper form and technique. A physical therapist can also address any mobility challenges that may impact your ability to exercise effectively.
The benefits of maintaining muscle mass as you age are numerous. Maintaining muscle mass as you age is essential in ensuring overall health and wellness. Engaging in regular exercise, consuming a protein-rich diet, staying hydrated, prioritizing rest and recovery, and working with a professional can help support muscular health and prevent muscle loss.
If you have an aging loved one who needs help maintaining their muscle strength as they age, our team is here to help. Using our unique approach to home care, our Balanced Care Method™, our caregivers focus on physical activity as a part of helping clients age well.
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