You were probably warned you would become weak as you age. Studies show this weakness is due to muscle tissue loss.
The fancy medical term for the phenomenon is sarcopenia. This term means your muscle tissue degenerates as a result of aging. You may think sarcopenia doesn’t occur until you become elderly, but these effects can begin as early as your 30’s!
Fortunately, it’s not too late to save your strength — even in your 50’s. Building muscle after 50 isn’t impossible, as long as you follow these 5 easy steps.
1.) Aerobic Exercise
There’s a huge fitness myth: doing aerobic exercise, or cardio, decreases muscle mass. Not only is this a myth, cardio actually increases your muscle strength particularly in your slow-twitch muscles.
As you age, exercise becomes more important.
But exercise doesn’t have to be extremely intrusive or difficult. Take three days of the week and spend a half hour on the treadmill or elliptical. Multiple dance fitness programs are also beneficial for your muscles.
2.) Eat More Protein
As you age, your body requires more protein to retain muscle mass. Always incorporate a protein source in your diet.
If you’re a meat eater — good news. You have an excuse to incorporate protein from fatty animal meats in all meals.
But if you’re a vegetarian or can only eat certain meats, load up on beans and nuts as your main protein sources.
3.) Live a Relaxed Lifestyle
Stress is a major factor of sarcopenia. As you reach your 50’s, you probably had a lot of stress on your shoulders. Stress is a major cause of a variety of diseases and disorders, and all can reduce your strength.
To avoid these serious health complications, live a more relaxed lifestyle. Meditate or start doing yoga. Practice calming breathing exercises.
4.) Eat More Vitamins & Minerals
Vitamins and minerals are crucial for muscle retention. Specifically, vitamin D and magnesium are beneficial for your muscles.
Your best bet to achieve daily required intake is with supplements. But you should improve your diet, incorporating more salmon, beef, eggs, mushrooms, spinach, and bananas.
5.) Resistance & Strength Training
Building muscle after 50 requires resistance and strength training.
Strength training works your fast-twitch muscles that result in increased muscle mass. You can easily use weight machines and free weights to work various upper and lower body muscles.
Great strength training workouts involve a focus on different muscular groups. Examples include arms, legs, back, and chest.
To avoid injury, lift a comfortable amount. Find a weight amount that you can lift but also serves as a challenge. As you build strength, you will start lifting heavier.
Building Muscle After 50 Is Possible
As you age, your muscles lose strength. While sarcopenia isn’t a serious condition, you should always find ways to build muscle as you age. The easiest way to do this is by developing a regular diet and exercise routine.
But even living a stress-free life will contribute to better health and stronger muscles.
Do you need more health tips? Take a look at our resources.
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