Muscle Building After 60: Paving The Path For Healthy Aging
As we age, our body’s functions deteriorate at several levels. We may be faced with changes in our musculoskeletal or cardiovascular health, we may experience restricted mobility. While these are all experiences that we can try to prepare for mentally and with our habits, what most seniors do not prepare for is age-related muscle loss, also known as sacropenia.
Sacropenia can start as early as 30 years in some cases and can cause a decrease of up to 5% muscle mass each decade.
Symptoms and Causes
Sacropenia may result in a reduction of the body’s ability to convert protein into energy. This may also lead to a decrease in muscle size and a loss of muscle fibers. The loss in energy may induce weakness, a decreased in stamina and may lead to a reduction in physical activity. Those suffering from sacropenia may also experience low levels of hormones, difficulty in maintaining balance and climbing stairs.
Sacropenia has the potential to greatly impact and impair a person’s functionality. Hence, it is crucial that a regular fitness regimen be in place to help you recover from the loss of muscle mass. Here are a few recommendations.
Ensuring Proper Nutritional Intake
As we age, our body’s daily calorie requirement lowers but we still need several other nutritional needs to account for. A balanced diet that includes lean protein, nuts, greens such as broccoli and spinach as well as food that is plentiful in calcium is a pre-requisite of a healthy diet for seniors. It is also crucial to take multivitamins daily and ensure that you are hydrated sufficiently.
Increase Reps, Not Weights
Increasing weights may lead to overexertion. Rely instead, on increasing the number of reps per exercise so that each muscle group is worked sufficiently to retain its mass. Break away from the typical pattern of 10 reps per set and work each muscle until you begin to feel fatigue.
Recovery Time Is Important!
According to research, it is more difficult for us to recover our muscles after a workout when we are older, as opposed to when we are younger. This means that older adults may subject themselves to the risks of overtraining, increasing their chances of overexertion and injury. It is therefore recommended that the workouts be spaced with rest days in between. Another way to ensure that you give yourself enough time to recover is by alternating between strength training and cardio workouts.
Looking for a senior living facility that helps seniors age healthily? Reach out to AvantGarde.
Book a tour at the AvantGarde facility, by calling (818) 881-0055 or visit their website for an online tour!