How to Stave Off Muscle Loss
Age related muscle loss is a natural side effect of ageing, with the more extreme version of muscle mass loss, known as sarcopenia, being less common. Effects of sarcopenia include problems with your gait, balance and overall ability to perform daily task, while more normal loss of muscle mass can impact everyday movement and strength. The reality is muscle loss begins happening slowly from your 30s onwards and if you’re physically inactive you can lose as much as 3% to 5% of your muscle mass each decade after age 30. To slow down and prevent this happening, it’s important to factor in several things to your daily routine.
Regular workout sessions are vital if you want to slow the decline of muscle mass into old age. While all exercise will help, resistance training is especially beneficial as it is designed to improve muscle strength and stamina. Weight training is another great one to start because as well as building muscle mass, it also increases bone mass which is important for proper mobility as you age.
Eat plenty of protein
Adding protein to your diet is even more important as you age as your body requires more to keep your muscles strong and your body energised. Healthy adults should aim to get between 10% and 35% of their daily calories from protein; aim for sources like lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs and beans. If you prefer to top up your protein levels throughout the day or on the go, Workshop’s Organic Vanilla Pea Protein is an excellent source of protein and can be added to shakes, smoothies and even snacks.
Increase your vitamin C intake
Important for cell growth and tissue development, studies show that those with low dietary and blood circulating levels of vitamin C are more prone to muscle loss, particularly males over 50. An easy way to ensure you get plenty of vitamin C is through a diet rich in fruits and vegetables; peppers, citrus fruit, strawberries, tomatoes and kiwis are all good sources.
Eat your omegas
Inflammation causes muscles to break down which can exacerbate natural age-related muscle decline. To help reduce the amount of inflammation in your body, include plenty of omega-3s in your diet, which can be found in oily fish like salmon and mackerel and nuts and seeds like flaxseeds and walnuts.