Best exercises for ageing muscles by M.D. Thordis Berger
Age-related muscle loss, called sarcopenia, is a natural part of ageing. It takes work, dedication, and a plan, but it is never too late to rebuild muscle and maintain it. Here are the best exercises for ageing muscles.
After age 30, you begin to lose as much as 3% to 5% per decade.
Less muscle means greater weakness and less mobility, both of which may increase your risk of falls and fractures.
A 2015 report from the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research found that people with sarcopenia had over 2 times the risk of having a low-trauma fracture from a fall, such as a broken hip, leg or arm.
But just because declining muscle mass is part of ageing, it does not mean you are helpless to stop it. It takes work, dedication, and a plan, but it is never too late to rebuild muscle and maintain it.
Best exercises for ageing muscles
The best means to build muscle mass, no matter your age, is progressive resistance training (PRT). A structured and detailed PRT program should be tailored to the individual with the goals being progression and improvement. Such a plan is continually challenging the muscle and keeps you away from plateaus where you stop making gains. In fact, a meta-analysis published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise reviewed 49 studies of men ages 50 to 83 who did PRT and found that subjects averaged a 2.4-pound increase in lean body mass. But two other skills go hand-in-hand with strength (and are often mistaken for strength): power and speed.
Muscle power, how fast and efficiently you move, is more connected to the activities of daily living and physical function than muscular strength. An excellent way to improve overall muscle power is with your legs since they are most responsible for mobility.
For instance, when rising from a seated position, try to do it quickly. When climbing stairs, hold the handrail and push off a step as fast as possible. It does not have to be every step—begin with one to three steps—but this teaches your muscles to use strength more efficiently.
Check with your doctor before embarking on any kind of training routine. Search for a well-qualified personal trainer to help set up a detailed sequence and supervise your first workouts to ensure you perform them safely and in the best manner. As you progress, you can often perform them on your own.
You should also pay attention to your diet, which plays an important role in building muscle mass. High-protein foods are very important for gaining muscle, but carbohydrates and fats are also necessary sources of energy.
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