How to Keep Your Muscles Healthy as You Age

It may surprise you to know that after the age of 30 you lost 1% of your muscle mass each year. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to reduce the impact this has on your life. Having a healthy lifestyle from the start will help, but it’s never too late to do the right things to take care of your body. Here are three key ideas to think about for keeping your muscles strong in later life… 

Aim for a Healthy Weight 

Carrying extra weight has a number of negative effects on your body including 

  • Extra force through your joints, increasing your risk of Osteoarthritis 
  • Increasing your blood pressure 
  • Reducing how easily your heart can beat 

Maintaining a healthy weight will reduce the risk of these issues, helping you to feel better. Tips on losing weight can be found on this link

Have a Healthy, Balanced Diet 

  • Have plenty of protein, particularly from lean meat such as chicken, or from eggs or plant-based sources 
  • Try to choose wholegrain options for things like bread and pasta 
  • Eat plenty of vegetables, you can buy them fresh or freshly frozen. It’s best to eat a variety of vegetables, eating a “rainbow” of colours will make sure you’re having a good mix 
  • Fruit is a great source of vitamins and minerals; just be sure not to have too much sugar 

Try to reduce the number of high-fat and sugar foods you eat, such as cake and ice cream. Sometimes cutting these out altogether can be tricky so try to view them as occasional treats rather than part of your day to day diet. 

Strengthen your Muscles 

Research shows us that we should do exercise that involves resisted muscle training at least twice a week. This can involve using weights, exercise bands or your own body weight to increase the amount you have to lift or move. Examples of these sorts of exercise include: 

  • Doing elbow curls with a weight 
  • Moving from sitting to standing using your arms as little as possible 
  • Carrying shopping 

A specialist personal trainer or Physiotherapist can prescribe you an exercise programme that is specific to you to help you become more active. More tips on getting active can be found here. 

At Severn Physiotherapy we specialise in treating older people with a range of health conditions. We offer home visits and can perform an in-depth assessment to better understand your needs. We then create a treatment programme that is specific to you. If you’d like to know more, get in touch for a no-obligation chat about your needs. 

All information contained in this post is general; we encourage you to seek individualised assessment and treatment from a relevant healthcare professional. We endeavour to regularly review our posts to make sure all information is in accordance with recent guidance and research.

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