By Marcisco Morrison
From birth until around 30 years of age, your muscles continue to experience growth in size and strength. Somewhere between 30 and 40 years, the body begins to experience a gradual degeneration of muscle strength and function. Without appropriate intervention, on average, your body loses almost three kilos (7 pounds) of muscle every 10 years. The medical term for this condition is Sarcopenia.
Muscle loss has a big effect on your metabolic function, partly explaining why it’s much easier to add on weight as you grow older and much easier for a younger person to lose weight. Loss of muscle mass and strength may lead to reduced endurance, impaired balance and poor walking ability. Combined, these physical factors can lead to more falls, bones that break easily, physical disability and a general lack of independence.
Although Sarcopenia is a natural aging effect, when you take appropriate steps, it is not inevitable as you can strengthen your muscles.
Exercise Your Body
Both strength (resistance) and aerobic (endurance) exercises help adults who are older to improve the health of muscles plus their overall health. While aerobic exercises are most helpful when you want to improve and maintain respiratory/cardiovascular function, strength exercises are good at boosting muscle function, strength, and power. The best results are attained when you combine the two. Exercises become more effective when you couple them with proper nutrition. In particular, resistance exercise is best when combined with higher doses of protein.
Get Enough Protein & Vitamin D
Consuming more protein helps in treating and preventing muscle loss that is age-related. And it is not just the amount of protein eaten, but also the type of protein you are consuming. The fact is that not all protein is equally created, and the type plays a vital role in treating and preventing muscle loss.
Consuming adequate amounts of this vital food ingredient is necessary if you are to build and maintain a healthy and strong muscle mass. It also contributes towards supporting ligaments, tendons, and other body tissue. Muscle atrophy also takes place when your diet is lacking in amino acids required to break down the fibers that support the energy requirements of your body from the consumed proteins.
Deficiency in Vitamin D is associated with Sarcopenia, muscle atrophy, weakness, and low handgrip strength. Vitamin D supplementation alone significantly improves muscle mass, strength, and function in older adults suffering from Sarcopenia even without any exercise intervention.
These essential Omega-3 fatty acids have been proven to boost everything in your body from mood to heart health. Now a growing body of researchers is also linking these fatty acids with muscle maintenance. How does Omega-3 help? Any inflammation in your body causes muscles break down and Omega-3s are known anti-inflammatory powerhouses. When you eat foods such as walnuts, salmon, as well as omega-3-enriched eggs it gives your body a double nutritional boost: muscle-building amino acids and Omega-3s.
Any level of muscle loss can lead to common annoyances that can range from simply being unable to open a pickles jar to premature aging with more pronounced wrinkling and sunken cheeks. Left unchecked, it potentially can lead to a broad range of health issues later in your life, such as disability and higher mortality risk because of physical frailty.