Can You Gain Muscle Mass as a Senior?
George Burns, an American comedian (who lived until 100), frequently stated, “If I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.” Yes, it is true that people with good genes, no matter how badly they’ve taken care of themselves, will live to an old age. Those few people are lucky. But for the rest of us who are concerned about our quality of life, exercise is a key factor. Fortunately, research has shown that it is never too late to start exercising. There are so many benefits to exercising and this article will give you some ways to help get you started on the right track.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, by the year 2030, there will be 70 million people over the age of 65.
What happens to muscles as they age? And how is muscle beneficial to us? Muscle mass decreases as we age. Adults in their forties lose 3-5% of muscle mass per decade, and adults in their fifties lose 1-2% of muscle mass a year. Muscle is an essential part of a person’s health. Muscle keeps us strong, it quickens our metabolism and helps us with balance and bone strength. Without muscle, we can lose our independence.
There is good news to the oncoming decline of muscle mass. Muscle mass can increase at any age in response to exercise.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommend four types of exercises:
1. Strength exercises build adult muscles and quickens your metabolism. This helps keep your weight and blood sugar in check.
2. Balance exercises help build leg muscle, as a result, helping to prevent fall. NIH stated that U.S. hospitals have 300,000 people coming in from broken hips, many seniors. Falling is often the cause for the fracture. Balance exercises can help seniors stay independent for a longer period of time.
3. Stretching exercises gives a person a larger range of motion, allowing a senior to become more active even as he/she ages.
4. Endurance exercises includes any activity that increases the hearth rate for an extended period of time, such as walking, swimming or jogging.
Exercise is invigorating and can improve your overall health. So take a walk or shovel some snow- just stay active, and enjoy life.