The aging is a normal part of life – that’s what we know. It usually causes sarcopenia or age-related muscle loss. And although old age seems to be far away, you might be surprised to learn that sarcopenia can start at 30. In fact, a sedentary person in their mid-30s can begin to lose between 3 and 5 percent of their muscle mass every decade. Clearly, there is a lot at stake. Even active people can lose some muscle. So how do you limit this from happening?
The concept of early prevention of sarcopenia has been gaining strength. After all, strength and muscle mass in later years are not only related to diet and exercise during that time. It is also associated with peak muscle mass in youth. This means that the best time to prevent sarcopenia is NOW. Of course, it doesn’t matter if you are in the prime of life or in middle age. Early intervention and careful attention to diet and exercise are crucial. Therefore, instead of waiting for a miracle during your old age, do not delay it. Never (never) is too early to start.
Here are 4 Ways to Stop Age-Related Muscle Loss.
1. Increase Protein Intake:
Protein can change things when it comes to muscle development. According to research, an increase in protein intake may actually stimulate the synthesis of muscle proteins. Studies also suggest that, in addition to meeting the requirements of IDR protein (recommended daily intake), the elderly should incorporate 25 to 30 grams of “high quality protein” into each meal. And since protein intake below 20 grams can actually dull muscle protein synthesis in older people, these recommendations are worth considering. Not sure where to start? These are some of the foods that will increase your protein intake:
- Fish or shellfish
- Meats such as beef, lamb or pork
- Lentils and beans
- Milk, yogurt, cheese and other dairy products
Whey Protein or Casein?
Sometimes, you may be advised to supplement with protein powders. These basically constitute the post-workout protein shakes that fitness enthusiasts and bodybuilders often drink. However, with so many options available, you may feel super confused. Should you take whey protein? Or casein? Or none at all? According to research, whey is the best option. It has been shown to be more effective in increasing muscle protein synthesis compared to casein. If you are still confused, do not hesitate to talk to your doctor or nutritionist.
2. Strengthen your Muscles with Vitamin D:
“Your body needs vitamin D to maintain neuromuscular function and muscle strength”.
For example, a study commissioned by the Society for the Society for Sarcopenia, Cachexia, and Wasting Disease shared that those with low levels of vitamin D would need to normalize their consumption in order to manage sarcopenia.
Start by taking your daily dose of sun. You can also ingest vitamin D through food:
- Fatty fish such as sardines, salmon, mackerel and tuna
- Cod liver oil
- Vitamin D fortified cereal
- Vitamin D fortified milk
3. Exercise to Stop Muscle Loss and Maintain Muscle Tone:
Proper food is important, but it doesn’t stop there. Physical activity is also important. According to experts, retaining muscle tone and stopping age-related muscle loss requires regular aerobic and resistance exercises. It is the perfect reason to get going.
Progressive Resistance Training:
Even the most active people cannot totally prevent the loss of age-related muscle mass. Professional athletes are not saved either. So why bother exercising? It is reduced to a difference in the rate of onset and the degree of loss. Physical inactivity simply accelerates the condition. An aging study suggests a broader “public health approach” to prevent (and stop) the progress of sarcopenia. Regardless of age, higher levels of physical activity could be the key to preventing large-scale disability in the elderly. For some, progressive resistance training may be more effective. The difficulty of frequency, weight and duration is the main focus here. This should be progressively increased as you develop capacity, strength and endurance over time. What if he is an old man? It is better to get rid of dumbbells and use your own body weight to build resistance. Try these routines and see what works for you.
- Get up from a sitting position in a chair
- Tai Chi
Strength exercises have been recognized for their beneficial effect in increasing and maintaining muscle mass. The result is something special: a better quality of life in older adults. Strengthening exercises should be done twice a week for about half an hour, being careful to rotate the muscle group involved. To begin, try these exercises shared by the National Institutes of Health for Older Adults.
- Squats on chairs
- Resistance band exercises while sitting
- Elbow Extensions
- Arm or wrist curl
- Lateral arm lift
- Knee curl
- Elevations for the toes
- Leg straightening
Flexibility exercises can also help. This may include gentle stretching up and out, flexing the arms and legs, or touching the knees with the fingertips while keeping the legs stretched. The best part? You can do this when you wake up, while in bed or even in a seat. Do not be afraid to experiment and see what works best for you.
For older people who are in good health, the American Heart Association recommends about 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every day. You can try it:
- Dancing or exercising to the rhythm of the music
The power of yoga it could be exactly what you need to delay sarcopenia and limit atrophy. For example, muscular atrophy in astronauts is quite similar to sarcopenia in the elderly. A report found that yoga is useful in mitigating and rehabilitating these astronauts, suggesting a similar application for the elderly. Specifically, there are four asanas (Padmasana, Sarvangasana, Halasana and Sirshasana) that can help develop muscle tone. The posture of Kapalbhati and Shakti mudra are able to stimulate metabolism, build muscle tissue and improve neuromuscular transmission. These actions can work together to stop sarcopenia. Along with light morning stretches, gentle yoga practice will also keep your circulation going. It’s time to make your stretch continue!
4. Control Other Diseases to Stop Sarcopenia:
Many studies have observed sarcopenia along with existing diseases. Compared to normal healthy people, sarcopenia is more common in those with conditions such as obesity, osteoporosis, osteopenia, type 2 diabetes and breast cancer. So it makes sense that fighting or controlling the other health condition can help decrease muscle loss.