While aging is inevitable, muscle loss doesn’t have to be. But the fact is that as early as the age of 30, age-related muscle loss begins and every decade thereafter you lose three to five percent. Although muscle loss can make daily activities like getting up from your chair, climbing stairs, or even opening a jar a challenge, healthy muscles are also essential for overall wellbeing and impact organ function, skin health, immunity, and metabolism.
Fortunately, you don’t have to accept that as you age you’ll be subject to the symptoms of muscle loss like reduced strength and energy. You can actively slow down the process and stay strong as you age with our below tips to keep your muscles fit for many years to come:
Move & Be Active Regularly
Still, inactive and sedentary lifestyles are top contributors to the loss of muscle mass with aging. Being more active, whether through walking, hiking, yoga, or going to the gym all count. Regular movement also stimulates lymphatic drainage, tones muscles, reduces stress, promotes sleep, and releases endorphins, which will naturally lift your mood. Moderate exercise three to four times a week, to start, is ideal to support your muscles’ longevity.
Weight Train, for Life
It’s time to dust off those dumbbells! As you age, sometimes the frequency and intensity of your activity can tend to wane. Incorporate simple low-impact workouts like pushups, pullups, arm workouts, resistance band training, or free squats and aim to work in some strength training at least two times a week.
Eat High-Quality Protein
Protein is the king of muscle food since the amino acids in protein are the building blocks of muscle. Incorporate good sources of protein in every meal and while meat, eggs, and milk are the best sources of protein, there are plenty of plant-based alternatives too like hemp seeds, chia seeds, tofu, and broccoli.
Relax & Sleep Well
Sleep is a time of rebuilding. Making sure you design your nighttime routine for calm can help maintain balance in blood sugar, blood pressure, and hormone regulation, all of which can help you retain and build muscle mass. Relaxation during the day is just as important too since emotional tension will induce catabolic stress hormones—which can result in a reduction of muscle mass.
Strong, healthy muscles provide balance, strength, and can even boost your immunity which is why retaining muscle mass as you age is essential to maintaining the healthiest version of you possible. Whatever investment you make today in preserving and strengthening your muscle mass will pay dividends in the future in the form of the strength and mobility you need to remain independent and well, no matter your age.