Aging may be inevitable, but becoming physically frail doesn’t have to be. This is particularly true when it comes to progressive loss of muscle, which usually begins around the age of 40 and continues as we get older. While it’s age-related, lack of physical activity, decreased food intake, and certain medical conditions can all hasten muscle loss, which plays a critical role in maintaining our strength and energy. When muscles become weaker, our risk for increased fatigue and falls and fractures goes up.
Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent age-related muscle loss. Here are some tried and true strategies.
Get plenty of protein.
Because protein is important in building and maintaining muscle mass, make sure you’re getting enough with lean meats, dairy products, eggs, legumes, and nuts. For convenience, consider Ensure® to provide extra protein and energy.
Spread out your protein intake.
Distributing your protein intake evenly over your meals and snacks helps your body use protein more efficiently. Try eggs at breakfast, extra walnuts at lunch, and salmon for supper.
Any type of exercise you enjoy, such as walking or swimming, can keep your muscles in shape — but you have to do it regularly, for at least 30 minutes 3 times a week. Also consider using weights and resistance bands to increase your strength and endurance.