It’s a fact of life that as we age we lose muscle mass.  But, we don’t have to take this lying down! A recent article by K. Aleisha Fetters in the Silver Sneakers Newsletter noted that around age 30 we begin to lose lean muscle mass and after 50 it becomes harder to grow new muscle.  This is one of the many reasons that “things begin to droop” as we hit our older years.  Protein is essential for building new muscle but as we age, our body finds it more difficult to absorb protein.  Hormonal changes will also make it more difficult to absorb protein.  So, what can we do to maintain muscle mass as we age?

Besides increasing the amount of protein we consume (I love this powder), we can slow down the process with strength training.  The CDC recommends 2 days of strength training per week for “people of a certain age” (over age 70).  So, how much strength training is enough.  We are not trying to look like “The Rock” but I think that we would all love to tone up a bit, right?  Personally, I try to alternate doing lower and upper body – this gives me 5-6 days each week.  Do I hit this goal every.single.week.? No, I do goof this up on occasion, but it is my fitness intention every week.  As we all know, life tends to throw things in front of you that require immediate handling…..so, the trip to the gym gets put off.   The important thing to remember is not to do the same body group of muscles on consecutive days. There are a few schools of thought on this method…but, it works for me.

Begin with lighter weights and gradually increase the number of reps and sets before increasing the weight.  Consistent strength training will result in noticeable increase in muscle strength before you see a change in muscle size.  In order to build muscle you must challenge the muscle – this is done by increasing the number of reps you do and gradually increasing the weight you are using.

According to a recent Harvard study, the average 65 year old can expect to reach 85 and the average 75 year old can expect to reach her 87th year.  Wow! Let’s make sure we get there with plenty of strength and muscle mass! Not to mention good old fashioned health.

If you’ve been taking care of a family, business, life in general and haven’t had a chance to make positive changes to your health routine…..stay tuned for more “ease into it” workout suggestions and eating programs. As you no doubt know by now, fitness and wellness are obsessions for me….so, I’m going to start sharing my routines. Let me know how they work for you and your lifestyle.

Get your heart rate up today AND smile….Live Well,

PS. Almost forgot….If I’m short on time and cannot get to the gym, I use these ankle weights to increase my calorie burn while walking my dog.

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xoxo, Rosanna
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