Have you ever seen something, a weight or a suitcase, that you lifted for many years, but one day it became noticeably harder to lift and never was the same after? That’s because you lost muscle mass or strength. It is shown that between the ages of 20 and 40 there is little to no muscle loss. Once you pass the age of 40, “there can be a decline of 1% to 2% percent per year in lean body mass and 1.5% to 5% in strength a year.” Luckily, there are a couple of things that you can do in your everyday life that may postpone muscle loss.
One of the best ways to be proactive about maintaining strength is to go visit your doctor as you age and regularly check up on how your body is doing and what you may be lacking on a day-to-day basis. Most of the time, we aren’t getting enough vitamins, minerals, or proteins in our diet that could be helping to nourish our body. Other things that you can do is to keep moving. It would be extremely beneficial to make a routine centered around taking part in some sort of resistance training.
Resistance training doesn’t have to be bicep curling X number of pounds or squatting a heavy weight. Resistance training can be a lot less demanding and still beneficial with the use of resistance bands, weightmachines, or body weight for different muscle groups. Another way to take advantage of resistance training is to focus more on functional movements. Those are movements that replicate what you do in your everyday life.
Diet can also play a role in making sure you stay strong and healthy. One thing that can be a factor in losing muscle mass is not consuming enough protein. Protein is essential to making sure your muscles continue to be nourished and will prevent or slow muscle loss.
A good rule of thumb for protein consumption is eating about 4 ounces of chicken, beef, or fish with every meal. This simple practice paired with a well-rounded and balanced plate of things like veggies, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats could make a lasting difference in maintaining your strength.
As a matter of fact, doing resistance training 3 times a week and eating better all 7 days of the week will not only prevent muscle loss, but will result directly in muscle gained. It is never too late to build or gain muscle. It all just depends on how often you do it.