As you reach your 50s and beyond, maintaining and building muscle becomes even more important than ever before. The reason is that your body starts to lose muscle as you age if you do nothing to preserve it. Research shows muscle mass keeps you healthy and fit, so much so that it prevents metabolic disorders and diseases and is, therefore, rightly called the fountain of youth. Fitness Buffhq says if you haven’t been doing any strength or resistance exercises, then it is time to begin pronto. Don’t worry; we’ve come up with five everyday habits to preserve and gain muscle mass after 50, from diet to exercise, because they go hand-in-hand.
Although it’s never too late to begin preserving and building muscle, it’s suggested that you check with a healthcare professional before beginning an aggressive workout plan.
Everyday Habits To Maintain Your Muscle Mass After 50
If you want to maintain and gain muscle mass after 50, here are some top habits you can include in your daily routine.
Related: What to eat to maintain/gain muscle mass
Strength train daily.
If your aim is to preserve and build your muscle mass, then you need to work your body to keep it. That means doing weight-bearing or resistance exercises, whereby your muscles are engaged and stimulated in some way. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends strength training your major muscle groups twice a week to boost your muscular fitness (Mayo Clinic).
Don’t have access to weights, no worries. You can use resistance bands or even your body movements, such as pushups, squats, and lunges. The crux here is consistency!
Related: 3 Best Body Weight Exercises For Older Adults
Perform physical tasks.
In addition to your workouts, it’s as just recommended to be as physically active as possible. This will not only keep your muscles engaged, but your basal metabolic rate (BMR) will also stay high. (BMR is how many calories you burn when your body is performing basic functions.)
Whether it’s carrying your grocery bags, performing chores around the home, or doing yard work, be creative and get moving. The main idea is to move around wherever and whenever possible.
Perform relaxation techniques, and get enough sleep.
Though it’s important to stay physically active to preserve your muscle mass, it’s equally necessary to relax and get your body to rest and recover, which will help keep your cortisol levels low. Make sure to get enough sleep because your body builds muscle during its rest phase. What’s enough sleep? The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommends getting a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Eat enough protein.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, in addition to working just the right amount of strength training, eating the right kind and amount of protein is also important if you want to preserve and build muscle.
I suggest to most of my clients to eat at least one gram per pound of their lean body mass. And when it comes to protein source options, go for lean choices. That means chicken, turkey, lean cuts of red meat, eggs, low and non-fat dairy, and protein powders. Make sure every meal has at least one serving size of protein.
Check here for Protein Powders
Continue eating carbs.
People are concerned about their carbohydrate intake—particularly if they are aiming to lose fat. However, you don’t need to be carbophobic. In fact, carbohydrates actually help fuel your workouts and can even help you gain muscle. However, make sure you get them from healthy sources. For example, whole quinoa, grains, rice, beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and fruit.
About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is ISSA Certified Elite Trainer. He passed Personal Fitness Trainer Course, Nutrition Health Coach course & Specialist Exercise Therapy course from ISSA, the USA, obtaining + 97% marks. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. The author says: “For me, age is just a number!”