Prevent Muscle Loss as We Age
Aging is linked to several changes. Some are profoundly pleasant, some are not. Among the most commonly worrisome changes, besides the graying and thinning of the hair and the appearance of wrinkles, is the significant loss of muscles.
Let’s prevent muscle loss as we age
Elderly people may either experience muscle atrophy (i.e., the loss of muscle mass due to lack of physical activity) or sarcopenia (i.e., muscle loss associated with aging).
Reportedly, a person loses about 3-8% of muscle mass after the age of 30. The percentage is greater after 60. Fortunately, sarcopenia can be reversed and prevented, studies show.
Here, you’ll learn 8 easy, doable exercises to avoid the onset of sarcopenia.
Known as a fitness system that ultimately develops the core, Pilates helps a lot in preventing muscle loss caused by aging.
Using equipment and assisted by tactile assessment, Pilates focuses on correcting misalignments, proper breathing, and strengthening the core muscle group, that is, the hips, abdomen, and lower back.
Nowadays, variations are allowed to suit different age groups so there are practically zero excuses for you to not try Pilates.
If you’ve seen senior yogis, all with a lean build and firm muscles, then you’ll appreciate the benefits of practicing yoga throughout your years of existence.
Basically, all resistance-training sets are ideal for the prevention of sarcopenia and squats are definitely one of the most doable exercises available.
No equipment is needed; all that is ever required is ample space and sheer determination. In one study, elderly women afflicted with sarcopenia were found to have improved knee extensor strength, increased handgrip strength, and a faster pace of walking after 6 weeks of squats.
This only further proved that regular exercise can possibly reverse, not just prevent, the effects of age-related muscle loss.
Besides squats, calisthenic workouts in general help prevent muscle loss. Calisthenics is characterized by a varied range of gross motor movements undertaken in a rhythmic manner, requiring only minimal to zero equipment.
In other words, calisthenics is bodyweight exercises and push-ups, along with their variations, are good alternatives. Push-ups not only develop arm muscles but also lift the entire body and enhance the core.
Recently, there was a craze for planking and the people’s fondness was not for nothing. Planking, indeed, brings about a host of fitness benefits. Among the positive effects are improved posture, balance, and core strength.
Just about a minute or three of leaning on your elbows, body lifted, and head face down, already do wonders. Note though that this may not be suitable for those already advanced in years. B
est to consult with a physician first before getting intense on planking or any other regimen.
Some people are born with a natural passion and stamina for playing sports. With hectic schedules, intermittent weather, and other factors, people easily find an excuse to not engage in sports.
They end up not reaping the full benefits of the sport, especially during the lazy season. But thankfully, these days, facilities have improved and rules have evolved to welcome the era of indoor sports like cricket, baseball, futsal, and badminton. Sports generally put nearly all muscles in the body in motion.
With constant engagement, muscle loss will not become a problem as a person’s age advances.
Lunges, Crunches, and Lifts
The use of resistant bands and dumbbells to improve muscle strength is ideal for workouts at home. All lunges, lifts, and crunches are considered resistance exercises, great for preventing age-related muscle loss.
Variations are needed also when enhancing your strength and avoiding overlooking any muscle area, so consider these as options.
Running and Sprints
Some exercise programs fail to embrace a more holistic approach to muscle development and maintenance. They focus on strength or resistance training, forgetting about aerobic and flexibility training.
Muscles need oxygen to move and when your cardio fitness is enhanced, your performance becomes better, muscles more efficient. So run a mile, sprint sometimes, and forever say no to sarcopenia.
When you are intrinsically inclined to nature, aerobic exercise options like hiking and swimming should be on your list to avoid sarcopenia.
Your main muscles (e.g., the core, lower extremities, and upper torso) are being worked out, as well as your breathing. Include stretching before doing lapses.
Dancing is great for all ages. A study has shown that dancing is associated with higher longevity. Some Zumba exercises are taped and sold commercially for dance enthusiasts to enjoy at home.
Dancers generally move around so much that no muscle group is overlooked. It promotes endurance, flexibility, and strength, depending on the routines.
The best thing about dancing is you don’t notice that you’re working out at all, especially when the music is great.
The list is long, and so there’s absolutely no reason for you to not be active and prevent muscle loss in all its forms.
It’s time to prevent muscle loss as we age.