Physically inactive individuals tend to lose a certain percentage of their lean muscle mass annually. They also experience corresponding loss in overall muscular strength. From 60 onwards, the loss rate doubles, which makes it worse.
With age, we lose muscle mass. Typically, there are so many people who develop a pouch and often wonder why! Buttocks and thighs becoming larger – why?
It is because, we don’t get enough muscle mass in and around these areas, but lose plenty of fat cells and muscle mass as we gain size. This growth occurs on the body after a person attains 30, especially women. As strength declines, so does every other physical functions of the body, which includes the ability of doing daily chores, taking walks, climbing stairs, and accomplishing other activities. This strength loss creates a vicious cycle. Since it takes plenty of effort as well as discomfort for performing daily tasks, one has to naturally avoid, which leads to overall weakness and strain.
Sarcopenia, a condition characterized by gradual muscle mass loss, can be reversed by concentrating on nutrition and factors that promote growth of muscle mass. Exercise, such as resistance training is very effective in maintaining muscle mass.
- Protein: Protein consumption contributes to muscle health in various ways. Varied protein sources can be consumed on regular basis to give you a range of essential amino acids. Proteins contribution is best seen from consuming chicken, fish, red meat, skim milk, turnkey, eggs, whey protein, cheese and Greek yogurt.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D plays several roles in developing muscle mass and preservation of muscles and muscle functions. older people usually have vitamin D deficiency as a result of various contributing factors like reduced dietary intake, lack of sunlight exposure, reduced thickness of skin, impaired hydroxylation in the kidneys and liver, and poor intestinal absorption. Lack of vitamin D causes muscle weakness, mainly affecting the proximal groups of muscles, which causes a sense of heaviness in the lower part of the body. Difficulty in climbing stairs, rising from chair or getting up from sitting position is a common sign. Women should get adequate vitamin D to prevent these symptoms. Vitamin D can be obtained from sunlight and some food sources like fatty fish, fortified milk and supplements.
- Avoid Dietary Acids: Modify your food habits to include plenty of vegetables and fruits to benefit your muscles and bones. Excess consumption of acid-producing foods and nutrients, such as cereal grains and meats, together with a combination of reduced intake of alkaline veggies and fruits may lead to negative effects on your overall musculoskeletal health. Homeostasis caused by acids can be critical to your health. It is very important to maintain concentrations of hydrogen in in the body. Acid-forming food ingredients like carbohydrates and protein can drain out calcium from your bones; on the contrary, alkalizing foods like vegetables, seaweeds and fruits neutralizes acids to prevent calcium deplete.
- Get Plenty of Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 has a major role to play in improving overall muscle strength and function. This particular vitamin is mainly present in animal dietary products like dairy, eggs, meat and seafood. Studies show that people over 50 years lose their absorbing abilities – the ability to absorb essential vitamin B12 from sources of dairy products or meats. Taking vitamin supplements can help.
The best strategy is to combine proper nutritional diet with resistance training.