How to Maintain Muscle Mass as You Get Older
As we age, it is natural for our muscle mass to decrease.
It can lead to a loss of mobility, stamina and strength, making life more difficult. Yet there is still hope for us seniors!
By exercising regularly, selecting nutritious foods and taking any necessary steps to control existing diseases, it is possible to slow down or even prevent this natural decline.
Fortunately, you can take steps to maintain your muscles as you age, and a little guidance and inspiration can make a world of difference in improving our physical health as we get older.
Regular exercises, such as walking, strength training, and proper nutrition, are some of the easiest ways to preserve muscle mass.
A diet with adequate protein can help encourage muscle growth and prevent it from decreasing quickly.
Losing muscle mass can reduce your quality of life and shorten your lifespan, so let’s look at ways to keep it.
Why do you lose muscle mass as you age?
As life goes on, it is normal for your body to change, and muscle mass can be affected by the ageing process.
With advancing years, proteins associated with muscular atrophy may begin overproducing while other proteins that reverse mitochondrial damage also become weaker; this contributes to physical weakness and degenerative conditions such as sarcopenia.
It is important to understand what causes your muscles to weaken over time so you can combat any problems related to muscle deterioration.
A healthy diet full of protein and strength-building exercises can help reduce age-related bodily changes even though it won’t fully stop them from occurring because certain metabolic mechanisms aren’t under our control.
Eating right and working out regularly slows down the losses associated with natural ageing processes in our bodies significantly.
What is Sarcopenia?
Sarcopenia is an age-related degenerative condition that significantly impacts the lives of those affected.
It is characterised by a gradual loss of muscle mass and strength in people over 50, resulting in reduced physical capability and increased risk of injury.
The earliest signs of losing muscle mass include feeling physically weaker over time and having difficulty lifting familiar objects, walking more slowly, becoming easily exhausted during physical activity, and generally having less interest or motivation for activity than before.
According to current estimates, adults lose around 3% of their muscle strength yearly after middle age. Muscle weakness in elderly people makes routine activities become quite challenging.
Unfortunately, it can also lead to premature death because people with poor muscle health have a lower life expectancy than those with normal muscle strength.
The exact cause of sarcopenia is still largely unknown, but it’s likely due to disturbances in the balance between signals for cell growth (anabolism) and teardown (catabolism).
This suggests that addressing these imbalances through lifestyle modifications such as exercise and good nutrition is important in managing and overcoming sarcopenia.
Regular resistance training programmes remain the cornerstone of treatment for older adults struggling with muscle deterioration due to this condition.
Exercises To Reverse Sarcopenia
Resistance training is a popular exercise that includes weightlifting and bodyweight exercises to combat the signs of losing muscle mass. By putting tension on the muscle fibres, signals are sent to the muscle cells, leading to increased muscle strength and size.
Resistance training effectively increases strength in adults aged 65-94 when done around three times a week.
Aside from increases in muscle mass, studies have shown that resistance training can also help improve balance and flexibility and reduce the risk of injury.
It isn’t limited to men or athletes; anyone can benefit from proper resistance training with proper form and technique. Not only does it result in visible muscle growth but resistance training also has numerous other benefits, such as improved self-confidence, better postural control and an overall increase in physical fitness.
Aerobic fitness training is an important part of preventing and reversing the effects of sarcopenia.
Studies have consistently shown that combinations of aerobic exercise, resistance training and flexibility exercises help prevent and reverse sarcopenia.
A recent study also looked at the effects of aerobic exercise without resistance training; it was conducted on 439 women over 50 who did 15 minutes per day of cycling, jogging or hiking, increasing to 45 minutes each day over 12 months. Unexpectedly, this simple programme showed increased muscle mass for women participating in it.
Walking is one of the most accessible activities available to everyone, regardless of age and physical condition.
Regular walking has numerous benefits and is an easy way to stay active. It can help prevent and even reverse sarcopenia, too.
A study of 227 Japanese adults revealed that those who walked consistently over six months experienced a significant increase in muscle mass, especially among those with low muscle mass.
Nutrients That Fight Sarcopenia
Promoting and maintaining healthy muscle mass is important to staying physically fit throughout your lifetime.
Luckily, four key nutrients can help fight sarcopenia: calories, protein, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Protein is an essential building block in the body, especially when it comes to strengthening and building muscle.
Studies have shown that increasing protein intake helps stimulate muscle growth, which makes it an ideal elderly weight gain supplement.
A study conducted with 33 men over the age of 70 found that just a single meal containing at least 35 grams of protein resulted in an increase in muscle growth.
The amino acid leucine is believed to have a special regulation of muscle growth when ingested. Therefore, it is particularly important for those hoping to maintain healthy muscles and combat age-related degradation.
Creatine is a small protein naturally produced in the liver that helps support muscle growth.
Creatine works best with exercises like weightlifting and other forms of physical activity since isolated use may not be enough to combat sarcopenia or prevent its symptoms.
For maximum benefit, take it with other essential nutrients such as vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids and extra protein for improved muscle strength and size gains.
You can also combine creatine with SARMs (selective androgen receptor modulators) which boosts muscle growth, helping you reach your goals faster.
Make sure to buy the purest SARMs UK or worldwide. Ask for purity certificates, and always consult a doctor before taking them.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids have long been known to provide numerous health benefits.
Of particular interest is their use to increase muscle gains. A daily fish oil supplement can help improve your resistance training and increase your strength gains.
Additionally, omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties which contribute to the muscles’ growth, even when you are not actively working them out. This makes omega-3s an invaluable addition when seeking ways to maximise muscle growth results from your workouts.
Omega-3 will help you get the most out of your workout routine by ensuring your muscles get the nourishment they need for optimal growth and health.
Vitamin D deficiency is believed to be associated with sarcopenia, though the exact relationship is unclear.
Vitamin D supplements may help muscle strength and reduce the risk of falling in some people, but further research confirms this. The required dose of vitamin D to lower the risk of developing sarcopenia is still unknown, and more research is needed in this area.
Supplementing with vitamin D seems to help improve muscle strength and show a decrease in falls, reducing the risk of developing sarcopenia. But it doesn’t reverse or prevent it altogether.
You don’t have to suffer from muscle weakness
As we age, our muscles gradually become weaker and shrink in size due to lack of use. This can lead to decreased mobility, poor balance, slower responses, fatigue and a diminished capacity for physical activities.
But by exercising, choosing the right foods, and using appropriate elderly weight gain supplements, you can stave off the loss and stay strong.
The tips above should help you learn how to maintain muscle mass and live a healthier, more active lifestyle.
If you have any concerns about your health, please consult your medical practitioner.
Like to know more? Here are some tips and exercises for safe weight training in senior life.