A loss of muscle is common amongst the elderly as they age. If you don’t exercise regularly, you start to lose 3-5 percent of muscle mass per decade after 30 years old and the cycle speeds up even more from the age of 65. Muscle loss may be a natural part of aging, but you can take precautions to slow down or even completely avoid the cycle.
Avoiding Muscle Loss as A Senior
Follow these tips by experts to avoid muscle loss into old age:
Add More Protein Into Your Diet
Seniors should get 2-3 portions of high-quality protein a day, such as animal meat or eggs. Also, a good source of calcium from either milk or yogurt is good to add to your diet. Protein is responsible for repairing and regenerating muscle tissue, so it is important to get a good source of protein at each meal to preserve the muscle we have.
Other factors to keep in mind are:
- Diet is a big factor in avoiding age-related muscle loss.
- Most seniors fall short in meeting their protein needs in a day.
- Protein is important in building and maintaining muscle mass, so not getting enough of it can be a real detriment.
- Around 30-35% of your calorie intake should be made up of dietary protein.
Strength Training Is Best for Senior Muscles
Seniors are recommended three to four times a week to follow a weight-lifting program. Good exercises are key compound lifts at which seniors can gain strength.
If you’re new to weight lifting, you need to be careful not to hurt yourself. Talk to your doctor before starting a new workout regimen and consider working with a fitness professional to assist you in creating a program that will help you gain strength without putting you at risk for injury.
Get Your Body Moving
Daily walks can help seniors regularly work their muscles. Walking more and more every day will help put positive pressure on your body’s structures, including your joints, muscles, and cardiovascular system.
Adding daily walks to the routine of a senior can help keep their muscles active and slow the atrophy that can occur with a sedentary lifestyle.
Create New Things
Learning a new ability will harness the power of neuroplasticity that can counter memory loss associated with age. The motor skills used in the process help maintain healthy muscles and prevent atrophy. Seniors can maintain their muscles by creating things like knitting and painting.
Move Your Body Easily
It can improve strength and endurance to do something as simple sitting up and down from a chair five times at each mealtime. Since getting up and down from a chair is something you’ll have to do for the rest of your life every day, turning it into a mini-workout gives you the chance to work the muscles you need to continue doing this simple yet important exercise as you age.
Maintaining Muscles in Old Age
There are some aspects of aging and health we have limited control over, but sarcopenia isn’t one of them. You can take steps to keep your muscles active and working to reduce the amount of muscle loss you experience.
Keeping muscles strong makes a big difference in the ability to complete common tasks of daily life, such as getting up and down from seats, moving throughout the home, and picking up objects.
The sooner these habits are adapted into your lifestyle, the more you’ll ward off the inconveniences of age-related muscle loss and make day-to-day activities easier as you age.
Entrust of DeSoto: A Resident-centric Memory Care Community in Dallas, Texas
Entrust of DeSoto is a memory care community that puts resident well-being at the center of everything we do. We know that each person is unique. That’s why we offer a wide range of services and lifestyle options to nourish the body and create community.
We understand the importance of home cooked meals and nutrition for seniors and this attitude is reflected in our dining experience. If you or a loved one live near Dallas, Texas and need assisted living, contact Entrust of DeSoto today to learn about our 24-hour care and find out how we can help.