Keep up with your strength exercises because, after the age of 35, you start losing your muscle mass. It could be as much as 3%-5% per decade or even higher as you age”, shared my family doctor, on my recent visit.
This was something new for me as I was not aware of “Sarcopenia” or age-related muscle loss which is a natural process and a part of aging. But that got me to think if muscle mass can be preserved? If yes, how can we do that? But before sharing the ways to preserve our muscle mass, let me share “why is muscle mass important”?
Why is muscle mass important?
Our muscles comprise 50%-60% of our body weight and they play an important role in staying active and for our strength. Right from routine tasks, like picking, lifting an object, to our organ function, muscles play an important role.
But as we age, and once we hit our 40s, we may lose up to 8% of our muscle mass every decade. Quite staggering? That’s what my reaction was when our doctor explained. I was curious if this is one of the reasons, we hear a lot about fractures as people age? Yes, lesser muscle mass means greater weakness which can lead to increased risk of falls and thus fractures. It could even mean a slow recovery from an illness and that’s why maintaining the right muscle mass is imperative.
That was insightful and answered my curiosity. Did you know your age could be different from your muscle age? Why not take the muscle age test India on to check your muscle age?
How to improve muscle mass?
It’s never late to start working towards improving our muscle mass. So here are 3 important ways, I’m working on to preserve my muscle mass.
Focus on Proteins:
We all know that “Protein is the king of muscle food”. Proteins break down into amino acids and amino acids constitute 60% of muscle tissues. Thus, consume good sources of proteins, like nuts, beans, tofu, lentils, peas, and Greek yogurt.
Staying active is essential for our muscles. Keep moving and focus on strength exercises.
I include resistance training in my workout because that increases muscle strength. A few activities that can be done for muscle strength:
- Climbing stairs
- Push-ups, squats
- Lifting weights
And yes, when your muscles signal “rest”, do take some rest before continuing with your muscle strengthening exercises.
Since no single food provides all nutrients, I always focus on a varied balanced diet comprising all macro and micronutrients. My focus has been more fruits and (less cooked) varied veggies. Vitamin D is crucial for our healthy muscles, hence Vitamin D fortified cereals along with good exposure to sunlight is imperative.
You can also consider supplementing your diet with “Ensure” designed specifically for adults to #EnsureStrongerInsideOut. It is enriched with high-quality proteins and 31 other essential nutrients required for a healthy diet.
Stay stress-free and focus on an active and healthy lifestyle! And it is never too late to start. So, get up, start moving and preserve your muscle mass for healthy aging.