Did you know that after the age of 30 you lose 3-8% of your muscle mass every ten years until the age of 50? Above 50, people usually lose about 10% of their muscle mass every ten years, and between 60-80 this number can go up to 60%!
So, as you get older, the speed of the muscle loss increase rather fast. The number and the size of the muscle cells decrease. This process is the sarcopenia.
As a result, obviously, people get weaker, and that leads to a worse quality of life. I can remember my grandpa who was a strong guy at the age of 50 working all day long in the garden. But then, he gave up his garden, and at the age of 75 he was so weak that it was hard for him to walk.
However, this dangerous process can be slowed down by paying attention to your lifestyle. Just follow the tips on how to prevent losing muscle mass below.
Age Related Muscle Loss Prevention Tips
1. Get Enough Protein Every Day
Protein is the building block of the muscle tissue. It is a fact that about 20% of the people over 60 do not take in enough protein daily. You should have about 0.8-1 grams per kilogram of body weight. That means if you are 70 kg, you should have about 60-70 grams daily. (source)
The best protein sources are fish, poultry, eggs, dairy and legumes. So, include these protein-rich foods in your diet.
On the other hand, pay attention to taking in the right type of protein. Did you know that proteins build up from 20 types of amino acids? Relating to the muscle mass prevention the most important is the leucine. This amino-acid can be found in animal sources like beef, fish, eggs, lamb dairy and fish.
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I see so many elderly people who spend most of their days with sitting in a chair and moving nothing at all. It is the worst thing they can do.
Regular moving or exercising is the best cure against weakness. It strengthens not only your muscles but also your bones and cardiovascular system. Plus, it helps to get better energy level and supports weight loss.
It is recommended to do physical exercises at least three times a week. No matter what you do, just move. Walking for 30 minutes is maybe the best option for elderly people. However, yoga and even light cardio or weight training can be done. Just consult with your doctor before. Strength training seems to be not the best option at this age, but even light workouts help to maintain and build muscles. Just do not use heavy weights.
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3. Have Vitamin D
Studies have proved that lack of vitamin D has many negative impacts on health, especially in older people. It causes body instability and imbalance, and weak muscles. It is one of the main reasons of sarcopenia.
Your body needs the sunshine to generate the vitamin D. So, stay as much as you can outdoor. But, taking supplements is recommended for elderly as well.
4. Pay Attention to Omega-3
The omega-3 fatty acids take place in the protein metabolism of the muscles. Also, it is a natural anti-inflammatory, so it prevents muscles loss. It is a fact that the omega-3 in fish oil slows the muscle losing processes.
5. Be Careful With Alcohol
Having too much alcohol not only has a negative effect on mental health, but also on muscles. Most of the alcoholic drinks are empty calories without any beneficial nutrients. On top of that, alcohol washes out the healthy nutrients from your body as well, and it contributes to inflammatory. To stop muscle loss, stop drinking too much alcohol.
6. Consume More Anti-inflammatory Foods
One of the main reasons of muscles loss is that people have too many foods that cause inflammatory. We have too much packaged and refined foods. Plus, we do not have a healthy eating habit.
Get rid of those out-of-the-shops foods and have whole foods. Eat more vegetables, fruits, and green herbs. Most of these are natural cures against inflammatory. There are so many ways you can make tasty meals from these ingredients.
7. Have Less Foods Causing Inflammation
It is not enough to have foods that cure inflammation, but you should also get rid of the ones that cause it. Two components are mainly responsible for inflammation: trans fats and sugar.
Hence, avoid eating things that high in sugar (bad carbohydrates) such as sweets and cookies. Also, avoid having foods that are high trans fats like chips, anything that is fried. You can read about these foods here.
Conclusion on preventing muscle loss with age
By following the nutritional and fitness tips above, you can prevent yourself from muscle loss which can damage your lifestyle. As you see it not as hard, just get used to eating healthy things and move more. There are millions of elderly people all over the world who are active and healthy over the age of 80 just because of eating the right things and training their body somehow.
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Last update on 2019-03-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API