Losing Muscle Mass and Strength As You Age Is NOT Inevitable!
If you were to write down every physical motion you make daily, and then add the to the list all physical things you do automatically: breathing, blinking, your heart pumping. The list would be endlessly long.
Your daily motions surely start with getting out of your bed. But wait, wait, wait. Did you stretch as soon as you got out of your bed?
You might have observed cats always stretching before they take their very first step after having laid down for a while. They will stretch the back by arching it, stretch the back and front legs from a standing position or extending them while taking the first steps. In fact your cat might do this with each limb, either individually lifting them off the floor or extending them as much as possible. Why do they do this each time they get up? They are simply lengthening their muscles.
The essential thing is to make stretching moves early on, and to keep on doing them as part of your daily routine. Making sure that you’re in the best possible shape means you can live a great life now, and have really good health down the road. You might not think you need this practice now, but you’re going to need it at some point.
As we age, over 600 muscles in our bodies undoubtedly change our quality of life throughout our lives. Age-related gradual loss of muscle mass and strength is medically known as sarcopenia. Your arms may become weaker, standing up may get more difficult, you may get easily winded, and worst of all, you may sustain a fall-related injury. You might lose up to 2.5 pounds of muscle by being bedridden for even 3 days. If you do nothing to prevent these from happening,
each decade after the age of 40, you may end up losing up to 8 percent of our muscle mass.
At the age of 60, you might have already lost nearly 20 percent of total muscle mass.
After the age of 70, your muscle mass loss may nearly double, up to 15 percent a decade.
Losing muscle mass and strength as you age is NOT inevitable!
Right nutrition is key. A UCLA research published in the American Journal of Medicine suggests that the more muscle mass older folks have, the less likely they are to die prematurely, adding to the growing evidence that overall body composition — and not the widely used body mass index, or BMI — is a better predictor of all-cause mortality.
Nutrients that are important to muscles:
Protein: Helps build muscle mass, support bone strength.
Vitamins: Vitamin D helps with bone strength, supports muscle strength and density.
HMB: This is a metabolite of amino acid leucine, which supports muscle health.
Zinc: Helps with testosterone production, which builds muscle and aids recovery from exercise.
Magnesium: Helps muscles contract properly, can reduce fatigue and muscle cramps.
Broken down into amino acids, protein is your body's essential nutrient for building new tissue. When you get older, it becomes harder for your body to break down protein. can help make up for that.
To combat muscle loss with age, older adults are recommended to consume a protein-rich diet with nearly twice as much protein as younger adults.
You can also increase your body’s tissue-building rate by 50 percent by eating protein-rich foods right after exercising.
The Amino Acid Content Differ Between Animal Proteins and Plant-Based Proteins
Proteins are made up of amino acids. The human body needs about 20 different amino acids to build proteins.
Your body can make some amino acids itself, but you have to get nine of them — known as essential amino acids — through your diet.
Protein sources vary greatly in terms of the amino acids they contain. Generally, animal proteins are known as complete proteins, meaning they contain all nine essential amino acids you need. Plant foods are considered incomplete proteins, as they contain protein, but lack several of the essential amino acids.
So, eat right, and do some stretching every morning, and you will have just really good health down the road.