Simple Steps to Help Retain Strength
Yoga in your eighties? Running your first marathon at 65? Today’s adults think, feel and behave 5-10 years younger than their actual age, and want to remain strong and healthy as they grow older.1
Good health, especially in an aging population, is the key to enable people to do more, achieve more, and experience more. That could be running a marathon, climbing mountains, perfecting a skill, or simply enjoying time with friends and family. Good health is the starting point for everything that is possible in life.
Despite a positive attitude and constant exercise, even the most active adults notice changes as their bodies age. Research has shown that engaging in various physical activities such as playing a sport, running, or cycling becomes harder as we lose muscle mass. Muscle loss begins around age 40 and increases year after year, accelerating at around age 70. 2-5 While this is a natural part of aging, it does increase the risk of sarcopenia, a condition of progressive muscle loss and strength, which can affect your ability to perform everyday activities such as walking, rising out of a chair, lifting objects, or walking up stairs. 6-8
According to research published in Age and Ageing, and sponsored by Abbott, as many as one out of three adults age 50 and older have sarcopenia. The paper encourages physicians to screen those aged 50 and older for sarcopenia and provides recommendations on ways that may improve muscle mass, function or strength to help prevent the condition, which can have a profound effect on a person’s overall wellbeing as they age.6
Consider these steps to help maintain your muscle health:
- Targeted nutrition
- Add more protein to your diet. As people age, the body requires more protein for muscle and overall health.
- Increasing intake of HMB* and essential amino acids (EAAs) may help to improve muscle mass function or strength.
- Add weights to your workout. Resistance exercise can improve muscle function. A sedentary lifestyle is a big contributor to loss of muscle tone.
- Have a conversation with your doctor
- Adults 50 and over should talk to their physician to discuss ways to maintain muscle health and prevent sarcopenia.
* HMB is an amino acid metabolite that occurs naturally in the body and is found in small amounts in some foods, such as avocado, grapefruit and catfish.
1 SilverPoll™ January 2009.
2 Grimby GB et al. Acta Physiol Scand. 1982;115:125.
3 Larsson L et al. J Appl Physiol. 1979;46:451.
4 Flakoll P et al. Nutrition. 2004;20:445-451.
5 Baier S et al. J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2009;33:71-82.
6 Cruz AJ et al. Age and Ageing 2014: [In Press] http://ageing.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/09/19/ageing.afu115.full.pdf+html
7 Estaquio C, Castetbon K, Kesse-Guyot E, et al. J Nutr. 2008;138:946-953.
8 Ford ES, Bergmann MM, Kroger J, et al.. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169:1355-1362.
9 United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2011). World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision, CD-ROM Edition.