Keep (and even build) muscle mass as you age

by | Sep 21, 2010 | Aging gracefully, Exercise, Fitness & Rehab | 0 comments

senior weight training

As we age, it’s common to lose muscle.  That’s a bad thing.  But it’s not inevitable.

Loss of muscle mass affects your appearance, but more importantly it affects your metabolism, your hormone balance (including your testosterone), your sleep and energy cycles, your bone density, and a whole lot more.

What can you do to maintain muscle?

1. Weight training. You want to work out three times a week for a minimum of twenty minutes. That’s generally considered a minimum commitment needed to see results.  There’s a countless variety of exercises you can do, and it isn’t my purpose to get into a comparative analysis of them here. The point is to get into the habit of doing something – regularly. Then you can fine-tune it as you gain fitness. Get a set of hand weights and exercise at home – that’s an easy way to start.

2. Adequate protein intake. I’m not recommending huge slabs of rare beef here. The way that meat is produced in this country is an abomination – it’s so full of chemicals, hormones, and the wrong kind of fats that its useless as part of your diet. Find some grass- fed beef or buffalo (or wild game) and try a small 4-6 ounce portion once or twice a week.

And fish is good too – but it’s got to be wild-caught fish. The farmed kind has the same crap in it that mass-produced beef has.

If you’re concerned about your protein intake, try a whey-based (or rice- or hemp-based) protein powder supplement. A scoop or two as part of a protein shake (or even as a meal replacement) can work wonders.

3. Be alert to the dangers of certain drugs. Statin drugs – commonly given to control cholesterol – are known to contribute to muscle wasting. If you’ve been taking them, don’t just drop them altogether because of what you’re reading on this website, but do express your concerns to your doctor. There may be alternatives.

No matter your age or current state of health, you can be more healthy and more fit next year as compared to this year.  Get started.

Deepen Your Body of Knowledge

Weight training actually changes the way your genes work in your muscles.

Drinking a protein-rich drink after exercise also helps build muscle.

Frailty syndrome


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