Saving Your Muscles as You Age
By Sara Butler
As you age your body goes through a lot of changes. One of those changes is the loss of muscle mass. According to the Mayo Clinic, after the age of 30, you lose about one percent of muscle per year. How can you counteract this? Diet is one way! As you age not only should your body look different but what you eat should, too. Here are some tips to help you combat muscle loss as you enter the prime of your life!
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Of course, this is easier said than done since your metabolism also changes as you age. Look on the bright side, though! Building muscle and exercising help you to increase your metabolism and keep your weight in check. What you need to aim for is a consistent weight, since yo-yoing will only leave you less lean muscle and more fat the older you get.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Not only do you need to watch what you eat, but you need to keep your eating habits up to snuff too. You should eat three well-rounded meals a day, each with a variety of foods to help keep youwith the vitamins and minerals it needs. You should also try to limit the number of snacks you have between meals every day, and when you do snack choose something with protein to keep your satisfied, such as a handful of almonds.
Keep these items on your weekly shopping list:
- Dairy – Yogurt, milk, cheese and cottage cheese are great to have on hand.
- Fruit – You can’t go wrong with a bowl of fresh fruit in your home, but frozen is OK too. If you buy canned fruit in a pinch, make sure it’s not in syrup or in light syrup if you have no choice or water.
- Lean protein - Buy meat such as chicken, eggs, salmon, white fish and tuna to have for meals. Red meat shouldn’t be a staple.
- Vegetables – Try to stick to seasonal vegetables, either fresh or frozen. Eating seasonally will ensure a good variety!
- Whole grains – Choose grains with a lot of fiber, and choose the bread and cereals with the least amount of processing you can.
Use those Muscles!
If you don’t use it then you may just lose it! You have to keep your muscles active and you can do this by:
- Stretching in the morning for 10 minutes.
- Taking a short walk at lunch or after dinner.
- Doing a little strength-building with light weights or resistance bands after dinner.
You don’t have to lose muscle as you age, you just need to stay aware of your body and try to remain active as the years press on.