Keep (and Even Build) Muscle Mass as You Age

As we age, it’s com­mon to lose mus­cle.  That’s a bad thing.  But it’s not inevitable.

Loss of mus­cle mass affects your appear­ance, but more impor­tant­ly it affects your metab­o­lism, your hor­mone bal­ance (includ­ing your testos­terone), your sleep and ener­gy cycles, your bone den­si­ty, and a whole lot more.

What can you do to main­tain mus­cle?

1. Weight train­ing. You want to work out three times a week for a min­i­mum of twen­ty min­utes. That’s gen­er­al­ly con­sid­ered a min­i­mum com­mit­ment need­ed to see results.  There’s a count­less vari­ety of exer­cis­es you can do, and it isn’t my pur­pose to get into a com­par­a­tive analy­sis of them here. The point is to get into the habit of doing some­thing – reg­u­lar­ly. Then you can fine-tune it as you gain fit­ness. Get a set of hand weights and exer­cise at home – that’s an easy way to start.

senior weight training

2. Ade­quate pro­tein intake. I’m not rec­om­mend­ing huge slabs of rare beef here. The way that meat is pro­duced in this coun­try is an abom­i­na­tion – it’s so full of chem­i­cals, hor­mones, and the wrong kind of fats that its use­less as part of your diet. Find some grass- fed beef or buf­fa­lo (or wild game) and try a small 4–6 ounce por­tion once or twice a week.

And fish is good too – but it’s got to be wild-caught fish. The farmed kind has the same crap in it that mass-pro­duced beef has.

If you’re con­cerned about your pro­tein intake, try a whey-based (or rice- or hemp-based) pro­tein pow­der sup­ple­ment. A scoop or two as part of a pro­tein shake (or even as a meal replace­ment) can work won­ders.

3. Be alert to the dan­gers of cer­tain drugs. Statin drugs — com­mon­ly giv­en to con­trol cho­les­terol – are known to con­tribute to mus­cle wast­ing. If you’ve been tak­ing them, don’t just drop them alto­geth­er because of what you’re read­ing on this web­site, but do express your con­cerns to your doc­tor. There may be alter­na­tives.

No mat­ter your age or cur­rent state of health, you can be more healthy and more fit next year as com­pared to this year.  Get start­ed.

Deepen Your Body of Knowledge

Weight train­ing actu­al­ly changes the way your genes work in your mus­cles.

Drink­ing a pro­tein-rich drink after exer­cise also helps build mus­cle.

Frailty syn­drome

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About Ronald Lavine, D.C.

Dr. Lavine has more than thirty years' experience helping patients alleviate pain and restore health using diverse, scientifically-based manual therapy and therapeutic exercise and alignment methods.

His website, askdrlavine.com, provides more information about his approach.

Please contact him at drlavine@yourbodyofknowledge.com or at 212-400-9663.

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