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Monday, October 3, 2016

Muscles and Aging

As the sayings go... age is only a number, and you are only as old as you feel. There's lots of advice out there on how to feel your best as you head into your golden years.

But what about your muscles? Muscle mass makes up nearly half of your body weight. What can you do to keep them strong and working well for you?

Here are a few ways to make sure your muscles are lean and mean for years to come:

Work out regularly.

Hit the gym, or the pavement, as often as you can. A regular exercise routine goes a long way in keeping muscles healthy. Resistance training is great, as is light weight lifting. Don't focus on the pounds you're lifting, instead focus more on higher reps at a manageable weight.

Fuel up with muscle-building meals.

Proper nutrition is important for everyone, but more so as you age. When you get older your body runs through protein faster than when you were younger, leaving muscles susceptible to becoming weak. Make sure protein is a key part of your diet every day, along with amino acids, and a healthy mix of carbohydrates.

Double down on Vitamin D.

Vitamin D is crucial to muscle performance. It is easiest to get through time spent outdoors in the fresh air and sunlight, or by munching on dark, leafy greens. The NIH (National Institutes of Health) recommends adults 50 years of age or older get 600-800 IU daily. Discuss a supplement with your doctor if you aren't getting enough.

Start stretching.

Well, you should never really stop stretching, no matter how old you are. Regular stretching keeps muscles flexible and can help prevent painful strains.

Make sure to check with your physician before starting a new exercise routine or taking any supplements, especially if you suffer from any serious conditions. If you experience regular muscle cramps, or any other muscle discomfort, please contact us for an appointment.

(Adapted from Next Avenue)

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