Muscle & Protein: Keys For Healthy Aging

Want to age gracefully? Time to start lifting weights! Image courtesy of Feelart and FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Want to age gracefully? Time to start lifting weights! Image courtesy of Feelart and FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Want to be healthy as you age? Build muscle strength and eat more protein. Muscle helps your metabolism, burns fat and improves resiliency to the stressors of aging. As we age, the decline in muscles means we’ll become frail, have a greater chance of falling, hospitalization and some type of assisted living.

We tend to lose muscle as we age. Why? Mostly because we become less active as we get older. But it’s not just exercising we’re lacking as we age. Roughly 41% of women and 35% of men age 50+ eat less protein than the recommended daily allowance (RDA). And keep in mind the RDA is the bare minimum. How can you maintain muscle mass, much less build it if you don’t even eat your daily bare minimum?

This piece on aging and health in the Wall Street Journal explains, medical science and pharmaceutical companies are looking into ways to stop muscle loss as we age. Great, all we need are more drugs.  The good news is that there is something you can do about it now – weight training and eating your protein.

Check Out The Strength Training Bible
I’ve started reading Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training and I recommend it to anyone who is considering weight lifting. Rippetoe goes into tremendous detail on how to do barbell exercises like squats, bench press, deadlift, etc. It’s really explains how to get the best workout without injury.  Also you’ll come to understand why squats, presses and deadlifts are the only exercises you need.

If you are not familiar with Rippetoe, I suggest checking out his column over at PJ Media. It is enlightening.

2 thoughts on “Muscle & Protein: Keys For Healthy Aging

  1. I totally agree about building muscle as you age. I think it is super important. And, I think that squats, presses and deadlifts are GREAT exercises for many — probably most — people. Unfortunately, they aren’t the only exercises I need since I can’t do squats and deadlifts due to severe lack of cartilage in my knees. I wish I could do them, but they just aren’t on the table for everyone.

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