Will Staying Active As You Age Help Prevent Muscle Loss?

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There is a name for age-related muscle loss. It is a condition called Sarcopenia.

As with bone loss, muscle loss can begin after ages 30 – 40. Most adults achieve peak muscle mass during their late 30s.

There are two main ways to prevent or treat Sarcopenia. Exercise and staying active is one way. Diet and nutrition is the second way. We need to be mindful of both.

The diet part includes plenty of protein and vitamin D. We will concentrate on the staying active way.

Types Of Activities To Help Prevent Muscle Loss

There are two types of activities that can help older adults prevent muscle loss.

One is aerobic activity and the second is resistance activity. As we age we need both for the best prevention of muscle loss.

1) Aerobic Activity

Aerobic activity helps our bodies in many ways. We need to work at completing 30 minutes of aerobic activity on most days.

Aerobic activity for seniors can include:

a. Swimming

b. Hiking

c. Tennis

d. Walking briskly

If you have not been active, start with 5-10 minutes at a time.

Aerobic activity of itself does not prevent muscle loss. It will increase our energy levels. This gives us the needed energy to take part in resistance activities.

2) Resistance Activity

Resistance activities can strengthen and help maintain our muscles.

If your choice is going to a gym, you can use weight machines or free weights.

If a gym is not your thing, there are plenty of other options. Activities that use your own body weight are a good option.

Resistance activities for retirees can include:

a. Push-ups

b. Squats

c. Planks

d. Hip lifts

e. Resistance bands

f. Yoga

Yoga is a good choice as it will also improve flexibility.

Resistance activities and exercises can be accomplished with common household items also. Items like cans of soup or juice jugs filled with sand. These activities do not have to be expensive. And for dual duty, you can add the household items to your aerobic workout!

Conclusion

Yes, staying active as you age will help prevent muscle loss, or Sarcopenia.

Staying active may mean finding and learning new activities.

You may have to find a group or place that offers some help in learning resistance activities. For help check with the YMCA, YWCA, local health clubs, senior centers, or even the local hospital.

As aging adults, we can spend a lot of our time engaged in sedentary activities. Being sedentary causes our muscles to break down. A loss of muscle can lead to injury. Injuries need time to heal which leads to more sedentary activities.

So let’s stay, or become, active. Let’s incorporate some resistance exercise and activities into our lives. Let’s prevent muscle loss!

Now that our muscles are strong, are there other health benefits to staying active? Next time we will see if staying active when we retire can help ward off illness.

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Why Is It Important For Retirees To Stay Active?

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When retirees think about their future, they picture a life free of work and career. They hope to be able to give time and attention to their family and friends.

To do this, they need to be healthy. And retirees need to maintain their health by staying active.

There are benefits to staying active as we age. Even if you were not very active in your working life, it is not too late.

Becoming, and staying, active will provide benefits to you!

Benefits Of Staying Active

There are three categories of benefits that come from staying active when we age. The categories are physical health, mental health, and social interaction.

1) Physical Health

Staying active when you retire is important in maintaining your stamina and strength. We need that stamina for a day with the grand-kids, or to win that golf tournament.

Activity can help reduce the symptoms of some chronic conditions. Some examples are arthritis, bone density loss, or high blood pressure.

2) Mental Health

Staying active offers some important mental health benefits.

Activity can improve your mood and boost your self-esteem. More benefits are that activity can help rid you of stress, and anxiety.

3) Social Interaction

Staying active will increase your self-confidence.

Self-confidence can lead to new-to-you activities. New activities can lead to a growing number of social functions and new friends.

Conclusion

It is important to stay active as a retiree.

Staying active affects your body, such as your physical health.

Staying active affects your lifestyle, such as your mental health and social interactions.

As we age there are changes in our physical health. Staying active can slow, or even stop, these changes. Changes in our physical health can affect our mental health.

Next time we will look at the effect activity can have on your mental health.

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