Muscle. Everything you do in life is directly related to muscle. Sitting, standing, walking and even breathing involves muscles. Without muscles you would not be able to pump blood through your veins and arteries. Without muscle we would cease to live.
From the time we are born until our mid- twenties, our bodies continue to grow and become stronger. But little do most people know, around age 25 we all start losing muscle through a process called sarcopenia. This loss of muscle mass can be attributed to many of the symptoms we relate to aging such as loss of balance and strength, loose skin, poor posture and inability to complete daily tasks.
While this is a natural process of aging, the good news is there are things we can do to allow this process to be dramatically slowed and possibly even reversed. Here are the ways to keep the muscle you have and maybe even add some:
1. Weight resistance training – training with weights could possibly be one of the most important factors in maintaining our muscle mass (and independence) as we age. Have you ever heard of the “use it or lose it” principle? Well your body uses that principle to decide what to keep and what to get rid of. Somewhere in life we are taught that as we age that physical activity is less important and we ease into old age and sedentary habits. This is the opposite of what we should do! By training your muscles with resistance, your body will see it as a necessity for life and will do whatever it takes to hold on to it. Physical activity isn’t just for the young! It keeps you young!
2. Adequate protein intake – when you are consuming enough protein, your body will choose not to go after your muscles as a snack. If you are physically active (which everyone should be as covered in the first point), you should be aiming to consume around 1 gram per pound of your body weight. This will help maintain the muscle you have and also help your body to rebuild the muscle you use during your resistance training. It is important to note that it is essential get your protein from good sources like Organic chicken, fish, grass fed beef, eggs and undenatured grass fed whey protein.
3. Keep on running – cardiovascular health is something to not discount ever, but especially as you age. Keeping your heart, lungs, venous and arterial systems healthy will mean your body will keep blood and nutrients circulating your body to keep your various muscles fully functioning. And you don’t just have to run. You can walk, row, use an elliptical, stair climber or anything that raises your heart rate. Just get moving!
While it is important to exercise, it is equally important to know the safest way to exercise at all age groups, so be sure to speak to a fitness professional and get set on a program that will keep you healthy for years to come. Fitness professionals such as the personal trainers at MaxFit Studio are skilled in making exercising safe, fun and effective at any age!