It’s a fact, after the age of 50 muscle mass starts to decline. How much? Is there a way to minimize the loss? Rate of muscle loss ranges between 1-2% per year after the age of 50 and strength loss 1.7-2.5% per year after 65. If you’re interested in living a long prosperous healthy life and playing with your grandkids and great-grandkids someday, strength and muscle mass are essential. It’s important to establish a fitness routine that incorporates strength as early as possible. If you’re already in your 50’s and 60’s it’s not too late. Surprisingly, you don’t have to become a gym rat to slow down the rate of muscle loss. Strength training 2x’s per week for 30 minutes each session has shown to be effective for maintaining strength and muscle mass.
A recent study from 2015 shows that a powerful grip correlates to longevity. Grip strength can predict overall strength, health and your risk of cardiovascular disease. The stronger your grip, the more likely you are to survive diseases like cancer. For every 11-pound decrease in grip strength, there is a 16 percent higher risk of death from any cause.
Preserving Strength - a Balanced Fitness Approach
A full body strength program performing “push, pull, squat,” movements is a great foundation for maintaining muscle mass. These movements stimulate the “big” muscles that burn the most calories and stimulate the most muscle fibers. Other activities such as “walking” are great ways to stay active BUT, walking is not going to preserve precious muscle or improve mobility. A balanced fitness approach will yield the best results in-regards to living a longer more prosperous life.
Another Benefit - Muscle Mass
Another benefit. Muscle mass dictates how many calories we burn at rest. The more muscle lost, fewer calories burned, body fat increases. From a fat loss perspective, maintaining muscle mass and strength is paramount.
Nobody in their 80’s has ever said “I wish I had less muscle……”