As we age, our body undergoes different metabolic and physical changes, some of which are visible and some are not. As one ages, just like the bones lose their strength and stability and become fragile and tender same is the case with the muscle mass of our body. With age, an individual starts to lose his or her strength gradually. They may find it difficult to do things that they were previously able to do. This is because of the loss of Muscle Strength in the body with passing age. The body may become so weak that one might find it harder and harder to even accomplish activities of daily living and it starts to become a challenge to complete routine tasks.
In medical terminology, this loss of muscle mass and strength is termed as Sarcopenia.1 An individual is more vulnerable to this condition if he or she lives a sedentary life or is suffering from a medical condition which limits mobility. Degeneration of muscle mass and strength usually starts after a person crosses age 50 and gradually gains momentum with each passing day. Researchers believe that an individual with little to no physical activity after the age of 50, by the time he or she reaches 60 years of age loses around 50% of the muscle mass causing severe health and community related concerns. Symptoms of losing strength may begin earlier with individuals finding it difficult to hold things and finding it challenging to complete tasks easily as they were doing earlier. The following article gives an in depth know how about how to Retain Muscle Mass and Strength with Age.
What Causes Loss of Muscle Strength with Age?
Apart from age being a crucial factor for an individual losing Muscle Strength and Mass, there are also certain other factors as well.2 As we age, it is natural at one point in time we stop working but this does not mean that we sit at home and just sleep and eat. It is important to use your muscles and do some light activities like gardening and light household activities to not only keep yourself busy but also give the body some sort of exercise.
Lack of exercise is also an important factor in an individual losing Muscle Mass and Strength.
Some people after they come at a certain age lose their appetite either due to lack of physical work or due to some underlying condition like anxiety or depression which may lead to poor nutritional status and cause loss of Muscle Mass and Strength.
Ways to Retain Muscle Strength & Mass with Age
Aging is something which is not in anyone’s control and some loss of Muscle Strength is bound to occur with passing age, but what one can do is follow certain lifestyle and dietary modifications which may delay this progression and keep you fit and fine for as long a time as you can.
By following the below mentioned steps, not only you can delay progression of Muscle Strength you can also do a lot of activities which otherwise may not have been possible for you with passing age.
Physical Activity to Help Retain Muscle with Age: Even if you may have retired from your profession but still there are many things you can do to keep yourself busy and keep the body fit. Walking is one such exercise that you may do. Walking half an hour a day has been recommended even by physicians for a good health. In case if you have an arthritic condition which may not allow you to walk for half an hour but still you may try and walk for at least 10-15 minutes a day and if pain is tolerable you can increase the distance gradually. Walking is something which one can do even in their late 70s. Walking also keeps the muscles intact and helps a long way in retaining muscle strength.
Another good form of exercise to retain muscle strength with age is gardening or yard work. Gardening also requires you to use your muscles and goes a long way in retaining muscle mass and strength. In case if you have a back problem which stops you from bending frequently or for prolonged periods of time then you may take frequent breaks and then continue with the activity.
Diet and Supplements to Help Retain Muscle Strength and Mass with Age: Apart from an adequate physical exercise, as one ages a balanced diet and supplements are also required for retaining muscle strength and mass. As one ages, the digestive system also becomes fragile and the individual may not be able to digest most foods. Hence, a good balanced diet plan charted out by a nutritionist can help you in this regard. Foods rich in proteins, vitamin D, creatine, carnitine compounds does wonders in retaining muscle strength and mass for a long period of time.
Positive Attitude: As one ages, the easiest thing to happen for the individual is for him or her to get depressed and sit at one place or stay in bed doing nothing which may increase the process of degeneration and loss of muscle strength and mass. To overcome this situation, one needs to have a positive attitude towards life. It is good to read books when free. Try and play with grand kids. You should take your life after retirement as one where you can spend time with family and children and their children. You can do things which you missed when you were young. Having a positive attitude towards life can do wonders in retaining muscle strength and mass as having a positive attitude would allow you to be more active and if you are active then your body functions better and this helps in retaining muscle strength and mass.
As we know, we cannot control the aging process in our body and the process of degeneration but with the above mentioned steps and having a positive attitude towards life once can overcome this process and go a long way despite growing age in retaining muscle strength and mass.