As we age, one of the surest ways to predict injury in the aged is the loss of muscle mass. And the best way to live with vitality is by preventing the loss of muscle mass.
With the loss of muscle mass, we are weaker, and are more prone to have dead muscle in our glutes. This muscle loss leads to falls, shows up as poorer posture, and is more likely to have you lose your balance in what I call “the obstacle course of life!”
Complaining about not being able to eat anything without gaining weight? Or, that you have this extra roll around your middle? That’s mainly because your body has turned off your metabolism, and is storing fat. This happens as we age, instead of burning it for fuel to feed our muscle tissue.
BIGGER MUSCLES ALSO BURN MORE CALORIES EVEN WHILE AT REST. This is another reason it is imperative that we are focusing on preventing the loss of muscle mass if we want to lose weight – and keep it off.
Why do you think athletes need to eat so many calories to stay on top of their game – strong, fit, and powerful??
As we age, we spend more time in sedentary lives, and we simply don’t engage our bodies in movement patterns that use our muscles like we used to.
From the time we hit our 30s, we are already in a state of decline if we are not doing something to build new muscle tissue.
With a rate of approximately 8% per decade after 30, now is the time to practice prevention.
By the time you are 50, that rate of muscle loss doubles, and that is when it is harder to change your path – BUT, IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO START A PLAN TO BE HEALTHIER AS YOU AGE.
It is imperative that you begin a program starting now – that creates functional strength so that you can prevent muscle wasting as you age – and live a strong and vital life!
Functional strength is the ability to squat, bend, push, pull, reach, twist, and lift something, including your body without injury or pain.
Every one of us needs it, uses it, and will be affected by its loss of it if we do not to something to prevent it.
Functional strength movements are necessary to perform everyday tasks – such as in picking something up off of the floor, getting in and out of chairs and cars, walking up and down stairs easily, and even picking up groceries, kids, or grandkids without injury.
Even doing yard work, or sport-related activities such as golf, or yoga depend on your ability to move through a range of motions that involve muscle.
You cannot get any of what you need, by ONLY doing cardio activities such as in biking, walking, or running. Although these are all great, they are all using the same movement pattern FORWARD.
And, you need to be able to move through ALL motions of movement.
If you are strong enough to do the above-mentioned movements, with your own bodyweight, then it is time to add in resistance training to keep the muscles that you have, to challenge them, and to keep them from depleting.
You can definitely slow the pace of an aging body with exercise, and proper nutrition…it’s just up to you to stay on the path to vitality starting now!
Here are several ways to prevent muscle loss as you age:
Cardio-style exercises are great for your heart and lungs, but an excess of them will cause muscle loss. Be sure to balance out your cardio exercise with strength training.
Incorporate balance training that has you focusing mentally on what body parts you are using.
Resistance bands, dumbbell workouts, and home bodyweight workouts are great ways to add new muscle tissue to your frame.
Practicing perfect form in front of a mirror, or with a coach, ensures that your posture is in check while performing exercises. This is about injury prevention as well!
In addition to exercise, be sure to take in enough protein. Protein is necessary to repair, rebuild and prevent muscle loss after activity.
Standing up straight with your head over your shoulders, and your shoulders over your hips, with your spine elongated, and your glutes tight is a great start.
Walk like this. Stand like this.
And, know what it feels like to engage every muscle so that you can stay strong and aware of your surroundings.
Preventing muscle loss is what is imperative as we age.
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In order to stand strong and prevent falls…you need muscle. You also need it to perform daily tasks, ward off injuries, stiffness, and have great shape!
With more muscle and strength training, you’ll have a firm backside, a strong set of arms and shoulders, and a flat and tight core that prevents back injuries.
Muscle is the #1 key.
So if you are not already engaged in a form of exercise that builds strength AND tones, AND engages every muscle in your body…start one today.
For tomorrow it will be harder, and none of us is getting any younger as we sit here. 🙂
To your lean, strong, and capable body –