How best to stay strong as you get older
By Jay Forsett
Most adults over the age of 60 spend an average of ten hours per day either lying down or sitting, which makes them the most inactive age group. They, however, pay for their inactiveness with the high rates of heart diseases, obesity, falls and even early deaths.
As you age, it becomes more and more important to stay active if you wish to stay healthy and maintain your own independence as well. You will, otherwise, start to find it difficult to pursue even the simplest pleasures of life, such as taking walks in the evenings or playing with your grandkids, among others.
You may also start experiencing pains and aches that you’ve never felt and have very little energy to do almost everything. All these are as a result of your muscles fading away.
If you are aged 50 and above, the bad news is that your muscles are slowly but progressively deteriorating. Such muscle loss that comes with aging is known as sarcopenia, and it is quite common.
The good news, however, is that you do not have to accept that aging means getting weaker and weaker. With proper exercise and a protein-rich diet, rest assured you can stay strong and fit no matter your age!
Train hard, stay strong
As you get older, maintaining an active lifestyle and exercising becomes increasingly important to your overall health. Some recent Swedish research found that exercising is one of the top contributors to longevity, even if you only start to exercise later in life.
Some effective exercises include:
- Strength (resistance) training, such as swimming, walking and dancing.
- Endurance (aerobic) exercises, such as elastic bands or weight machines.
- Senior yoga and Tai chi to improve flexibility, strength and balance.
And how does exercising help you to stay strong and healthy as you age? Here’s how:
1. Helps you to lose or maintain weight.
Given that the body's metabolism naturally slows down with age, maintaining proper weight can be challenging. Exercising, on the other hand, helps to speed up metabolism and builds up lean muscle. Exercises also help in burning calories.
2. Minimizes the impact of diseases.
According to various studies, individuals who often exercise tend to have a stronger immune system compared to those who don't. Exercising improves bone density and blood pressure. It also reduces the risk of diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, as well as various cancers.
3. Improves balance, flexibility, and mobility.
Working out enhances your posture, flexibility and strength, which in turn helps with achieving better balance coordination and balance and minimizes the risk of falling.
Apart from the above benefits, regular exercise also helps improve your mood and memory.
The magic of whey protein
Protein is the foundation of our bodies and the regular intake of protein is crucial for building muscle. In fact, excluding water, our bodies are made up of about 75 percent protein. Therefore, to retain a strong body frame as you age, it is very important to constantly restore the muscle protein broken down during exercise.
The protein obtained from our daily meals is, however, not simply enough to meet the body's needs and that is where whey protein supplements come in.
Whey protein is usually considered a complete protein given that it is made up of all the essential amino acids and in their right proportions (needed by the body on a day to day basis). And the best part is that whey protein is a completely natural supplement.
Apart from being an incredible protein source, whey protein is also easily digested and absorbed by the body. This is precisely why it is the preferred protein supplement for aging individuals that want to slow sarcopenia.
In short, whey protein has the following health benefits:
- Supports effective muscle growth;
- High nutritional quality and offers all the essential amino acids; and
- Promotes healthy bones.
Get a bit of extra support
To maintain your muscle mass for the long-term, you need to equip the body with the strength and energy needed to sustain the gains. For a bit of extra boost in maintaining your muscles, you should consider including a creatine supplement to your diet.
There is proof that creatine supplements help in building lean muscle among aging adults that are on a strict strength training program. Including such supplements to your workout routine helps to improve your performance, and consequently helps you reap the benefits of your hard work.
It is unfortunate that we cannot stay 17 forever, and that sarcopenia is ultimately going to catch up with us at some point as we age. And if the thought of getting frail and having to depend on others to get simple things done sounds unappealing, you now know what to do.
First, get exercising and second, make sure to supplement your diet with enough protein. Following these simple pieces of advice will keep you strong as you age.
Jay is the head admin at SlimTree.com and loves researching proven ways to achieve bodybuilding and fitness goals.