One consequence of aging is the inevitable loss of muscle. This phenomenon is called sarcopenia which is a natural part of the aging process.

You can’t stop aging but you can slow it down by changing your diet, workouts, and lifestyle.

Majority of body building adults achieve their muscle mass peak sometime during their late 30s to early 40s. After that point, a gradual loss of muscle mass begins and can continue a steady downhill course as age progresses.

Symptoms of muscle loss can include low energy levels, which can interfere with physical activities. Thus further decrease muscle mass.

So, is there anything you can do to avoid this? Not really. However, you can slow it down and here are 3 essential keys to decelerating sarcopenia.

 

1. Diet

Protein is the most valuable food for repairing and building muscle fibers. With that being said, increasing protein in your diet will make a great impact in reducing sarcopenia.

Of course it’s not just how much protein you eat, but also what type of protein you consume. Not all protein is created equal. Here are the best foods to include in a muscle-building program:

  • Grilled, baked, or boiled meats (chicken, turkey & lean beef)

  • Egg whites

  • Trace proteins from veggies

  • Trace proteins from nuts

  • Whey isolate protein supplements

 

2. Do Strategic Compound Movement Workouts

A sedentary lifestyle is the best way to speed up sarcopenia. Compound movement workouts increase muscle strength and endurance using weights or resistance bands.

Research shows that a program of progressive resistance training exercises can build muscle fast and help slow or even stop the loss of muscle tissue in as little as two weeks.  

Resistance training is any exercise that causes the muscles to contract against an external resistance with the expectation of increases in strength, tone, mass, and/or endurance. The external resistance can be dumbbells, band exercises, your own body weight, bricks, bottles of water, or any other object that causes the muscles to contract.

But of course, you should work with an expert to develop an exercise plan customized for your age.

 

3. Lifestyle

Living a healthy lifestyle well into old age prevents muscle mass from declining and can even add six more years to people's lives. If you are a chain smoker, you should know that cigarette smoking is associated with poor lifestyle habits, such as low levels of physical activity and impaired nutrition. In addition, smoking itself is another lifestyle habit that has been found to be associated with sarcopenia.

 

Studies have found that people that smoke and are daily alcohol drinkers were more likely to develop sarcopenia at an earlier age. It’s also been reported that they had lower relative skeletal muscle mass than subjects who never smoked and that men with sarcopenia smoked significantly more, according to the same Rambam Maimonides Medical Journal research that connected alcohol abuse to sarcopenia.


While everyone loses some muscle mass with age, it’s possible to slow or even reverse some of that loss with regular exercise, proper diet and many other easy, natural lifestyle changes. For the elderly, maintaining muscle mass and function is vital to having functional independence. Muscle deterioration can be prevented, decreased and reversed with the methods mentioned above.

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