Unfortunately the human body naturally loses muscle mass and muscle density as it ages beyond 30 years. On average the human body will lose approximately 4% of its muscle mass every decade after 30. The good news is that there are ways to slow the process and even prevent the loss of muscle mass and density as you get older. Here are 5 tips on how to achieve this worthwhile goal.
1. Strength Training- Exercising your muscles with resistance training using weights, resistance bands or your own body weight will prevent or slow the loss of muscle mass as you age. Additional benefits of strength training include improving heart health, preventing diabetes, and maintaining mental health.
2. Eat Protein- Muscles are constantly being repaired as you use them, and the building material that your body uses to repair muscles is protein. Whole grains, tofu, beans, lentils, meat and fish are all good sources of the protein your body needs to build and repair muscle mass.
3. Omega 3- Wild caught salmon and fish oil supplements are excellent sources of the Omega 3s your body needs to prevent inflammation and slow muscle aging.
4. Vitamin D- Sunlight is an effective and free way of getting sufficient vitamin D, but you can also get it from yogurt, milk, cereals and supplements. Vitamin D helps you gain strength and slow muscle breakdown, and it also is good for your bones and immune health.
5. Get Sufficient Potassium- Green, leafy vegetables and fresh fruit are excellent sources of the potassium electrolytes your body needs for muscle contractions, heart health and maintaining youthful muscles.
Working out for just an hour may give your immune system a short-term advantage, however prolonged very intense workouts may have the opposite effect because of the immune-suppressive effect of cortisol. Firm conclusions regarding the immune system are difficult to make since most studies only look at a few aspects of immune function, and immune systems can be quite complex. Certain factors like preexisting
health conditions, age, and type of workout may impact the immune response to exercise. However, exercise in moderation is unlikely to enhance your risk of infection and may even lower it. Also, when you consider other health benefits, exercise is an easy decision. On the other hand, err on the side of caution if you feel like you are coming down with something and skip your workout if you're running a fever, have body aches or productive cough. Remember that sleep is also vital, and most people require 8-9 hours of sleep for optimal health.
Don't stop the cardio portions of your workout because, as we have all heard, it lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease. It may also improve oxygen delivery and lower blood pressure. Resistance training also has a positive impact on the cardiovascular system. Training your muscles is especially important as we age and will help you maintain a healthy body composition, so don't neglect weights. It is important to implement both strength training and cardio into you routine.
Honored to be part of the SOAS Racing Team Ambassadors for 2018 with an amazing group of strong women! Here are some thoughts and goals to employ for the new year:
Being grateful is the gift that keeps on giving. A healthy lifestyle is a process. Adopting an "attitude of gratitude" has many benefits including enhanced physical and emotional health. Being thankful can also help you stick to a fitness program. A positive mindset and practice of gratitude could give you the confidence to stay motivated, resulting in increased performance. Staying grateful throughout your fitness journey will help you to experience higher levels of well being, confidence and increased vitality.
Fall is a perfect time to rejuvenate body, mind and spirit. Just as a new season begins, it can be freeing and empowering to start or re-energize your fitness program. Being a beginner is a powerful place to start, while someone looking to enhance their program can set new and challenging goals. Training for specific goals will likely increase your willingness to stick to an exercise program. Signing up for a fitness program or training for a specific event is an excellent way to keep yourself accountable.
More people are incorporating a cross training approach into their fitness program. Strength, endurance, balance and flexibility training will give you the strength and power to become better conditioned all around. Cross training is an ideal way to train. When your workouts are varied, you reduce your risk of injury and get a more balanced workout.
Reflecting on my invigorating trip to Maine ... Regardless of where you hang your hat, running shoes, swim cap, bike helmet, etc., try spending some time this week filling your body with fitness, positive thoughts, and nutritious food.