Strength training, proper nutrition, and vitamin D can help reduce the risk of age-related sarcopenia, or muscle loss during aging. “Age-related sarcopenia is characterized by a decrease in the amount of muscle mass, strength, and muscle tissue functions. The body becomes flabby, there is no strength in the hands and feet, and it becomes difficult to maintain balance. It is known that starting at the age of 30, a person gradually loses muscle mass: about 8% is lost in a decade of life. After the age of 70, this figure increases to 15%, and by the age of 80, a person may lose more than half of their muscle mass.
A recent study by a scientist from the University of Otago showed that people can significantly reduce the risk of sarcopenia by starting to do simple strength exercises at the age of 40-50. This was reported on the university’s website. As noted, physical activity is an effective way to prevent sarcopenia, but not the only one.
The main methods of prevention and slowing down sarcopenia are optimal protein intake (proper nutrition), vitamin D supplementation, and physical exercise. It has been established that additional vitamin D supplementation for the elderly prevents the development of sarcopenia, muscle function impairment, and reduces the risk of falls. As for exercise, it is worth alternating between cardio and strength training. According to Chris Crowley, a well-known specialist in a healthy lifestyle in old age, aerobic exercise saves our lives by preventing heart attacks, while strength training makes our lives more dignified by strengthening bones and joints.
The doctor also added that to age healthily, it is necessary to monitor the levels of cholesterol, low-density lipids, glucose in the blood, and blood pressure, even at a middle age.
3 Steps To Prevent The Loss Of Muscle
Strength Building Exercises
There is so much emphasis put on cardio activity for weight maintenance or weight loss that strength training is often under appreciated. Because muscle is much more energy efficient than fat, having a higher muscle mass can help with weight management. This is because it actually increases your Basal Metabolic Rate or the amount of calories your body needs each day. This allows you to eat slightly more.
Work with a Certified Personal Trainer to help you develop an achievable routine that may involve a combination of weights, resistance bands, or your own body weight while doing sit ups or planks. If a personal trainer doesn’t fit your budget, consider joining a local gym, recreation center, or fitness studio. Group classes are a great way to get motivated and challenge yourself with new exercises and weight routines.
Don’t Use Low Calorie Diets
Being on too low of a calorie diet can also cause muscle loss. When you eat less than your Basal Metabolic Rate or what your body requires for it’s basic functions, weight loss will definitely occur. However, instead of losing fat, you will also lose muscle. Slow weight loss of no more than 1-2 pounds per week is the healthiest weight loss.
Reduce Your Body’s Inflammation
Recent research in Frontiers in Physiology showed the positive link between chronic inflammation and age related sarcopenia. It showed that inflammatory chemicals in the body increase muscle protein breakdown and their ability to repair themselves. If you have an inflammatory condition like heart disease, Irritable Bowel Disease, vasculitis, or a plethora of other conditions, your ability to maintain muscle mass may be even more challenged. Reducing your inflammation by changing diet and reducing stress is an important component of your health. Check out my recent blog posts on the 6 Chronic Inflammation Warnings and How to Reduce Inflammation with Diet.
Tofu: A substantial protein alternative for vegetarians and vegans or someone looking to minimize their meat intake can be tofu. This plant-based protein is an essential item in numerous culinary delights such as tofu phali, tofu pakoda, and tofu kofta.
Eggs: This wonder food is a must-have for people of all ages including seniors. Readily available and economical, eggs include extremely beneficial fat-soluble vitamins and healthy fats. You can enjoy them in their popular forms of scrambled, boiled, and sunny side up or you can choose to have them in your main course meals.
Peanut Butter: A much healthier and protein-filled alternative to regular salted butter, peanut butter comes with nutrients and healthy fats and nutrients. You can add peanut butter on your toast, fruits, smoothies, dips, oats, and smoothies
Milk: As adults, we often switch to tea or coffee instead of consuming milk, as we would as kids. However, as seniors, a glass of milk every day is extremely encouraged. The presence of protein and calcium will facilitate muscle growth and bone-strength. You can choose to have it piping hot with turmeric or choose to have it cold.