These 5 daily habits help prevent muscle loss, expert reveals

There are a few surprises that life brings as you get older. Some of them are great, and others, not so much. A good example is the loss of muscle mass that you will inevitably experience, which is a result of decreased hormone levels and a common side effect of aging. There is nothing you can do about this natural process except yourself can record five daily habits to prevent muscle loss. Read on to see what we learned from an expert.

Eat this, not that! reached for Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM, the director of Medical Content&Education at Ro and member of our Medical Expert Board, who explains the process of sarcopenia, where muscle mass is lost as you age, and the preventive steps you can take to avoid it. Unfortunately, muscle loss happens to everyone to some degree, and while it may not sound like a big deal, it can be debilitating.

Losing muscle as you age can make life quite challenging. Dr. Bohl explains: “Muscles are how we do things – every movement you make is the result of a muscle contracting or relaxing. As you age, maintaining muscle mass is what allows you to remain functional and independent. Muscles are also very important for balance, and if you lose too much of your muscle mass, you may even have trouble walking.”

According to Harvard Health Publishing, weak muscles can hinder you from performing simple tasks such as cleaning, walking, running errands, balancing and getting dressed. Muscle weakness can also slow down your ability to bounce back from an injury or illness. Sarcopenia can begin as early as age 35 and typically increases at a rate of 1% to 2% per year. By the time many people reach their 60s, the process could be as high as 3% each year. So if taking steps to prevent muscle loss just jumped on your list of priorities, let’s get started. And then don’t miss 5 Daily Exercises to Improve Muscular Endurance as You Age.

Be aware of what you eat.

protein sources

protein sources

It is always important to be aware of good food. As you get older, it’s an absolute must, as inadequate nutrition is a common cause of sarcopenia.

Dr. Bohl tells us, “Make sure you’re eating enough calories at every meal — if you don’t, your body will start burning itself (including your muscles) for energy. As part of this, it’s also very important to eat a high-protein diet. High protein diets help support muscle mass, and protein is also important for building your muscle after a workout.”

Take supplements.

mature woman taking supplements

mature woman taking supplements

Another step to your routine is adding supplements. Dr. Bohl points out, “Certain supplements, such as vitamin D and creatine, may be associated with the maintenance of muscle mass.”

According to the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, creatine is a very popular supplement in the fitness world that is marketed to improve one’s performance. Research shows that taking a creatine supplement can increase your exercise volume, which can increase your lean muscle mass, along with your muscle strength.

Get up and be active.

Dr. Bohl emphasizes the importance of getting up and being active, saying, “One of the causes of sarcopenia is physical inactivity, so anything you can do to get out of a chair and move around can be beneficial You don’t have to do the most strenuous activity — even adding a 30-minute walk to your routine every day is better than nothing.”

RELATED: 5 Resistance Band Exercises to Get Stronger as You Age

Grab some weights and start lifting.

adult woman lifting weights dumbbells at home to prevent muscle loss

adult woman lifting weights dumbbells at home to prevent muscle loss

If you don’t have a set of weights, treat yourself to some ASAP! “The best way to maintain (and possibly even grow) muscle is to challenge it regularly. You can do this through a structured resistance training program or on your own, but make sure you eventually hit all the major muscle groups in your body By using your muscles, you avoid losing your muscles,” says Dr. Bohl.

RELATED: Top-Recommended Exercises to Regain Muscle Mass in Your Arms

Have regular physical examinations and take any necessary medication.

Regular checkups with your doctor are a must, along with continuing to take prescribed medications on a regular basis. Dr. Bohl warns, “Sarcopenia can also be caused by inflammation and certain medical conditions such as obesity, lung disease, diabetes, cancer and more.”

To make sure you’re taking care of your body, it’s critical to stay informed about any medical conditions you may have and be diligent in scheduling your physical exams.

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