Don’t use it, you will lose it.
The old adage in maintaining muscle : don’t use it you will lose it. The older you get, the more you have to work to maintain your muscles,
Between ages 40 and 70 years, muscle mass decreases by about 8% per decade; beyond 70 years, the rate of loss increases to about 15% per decade.
A study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise,
“Researchers report that men and women over the age of 60 have to lift weights more often than younger adults to maintain muscle mass and muscle size.”
"Our data are the first to suggest that older adults require greater weekly maintenance, than younger individuals to maintain resistance-training-induced increases in muscle mass," study co-researcher and physiologist Marcas Bamman, PhD, of the University of Alabama, Birmingham, says in a press release.
In addition to exercise and keeping active older adults need to ensure that they have the relevant and sufficient nutrition in order for the body to have sufficient protein and also nutrition to build and maintain muscles.
Maintaining and building muscle mass in older adults is important to an Active Ageing lifestyle to ensure not only a longer lifer but a healthy and enjoyable life.
Some pictures of muscle loss from inactivy due being bed ridden. Also some great Active Ageing pictures and video from the recent 50 plus expo, with older adults practising active ageing.
Great topic. Allow me to add a little more.
Sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass, starts in our 30s. It is accelerated when we hit our senior years, & when we don't exercise or are inactive.
Fitness has no age. We will all face muscle & bone loss in our advanced years, but this doesn't mean we can't manage it. Remember, fitness is not just about strength & endurance, but also about flexibility & balance.
1) Low impact exercise is recommended so we don't further wear down our joints.
2) Weight training & resistance training will directly help with muscle & bone loss, but always be mindful & perform slow & controlled movements.
3) Seniors can also do yoga as another great way to keep fit.
One more thing I’d like to add is that fitness is more than just physical aptitude. It is also about mental fitness. One way to target both mental & physical fitness is any kind of companion dance.
Dance challenges you to keep in step with the rhythms of the music, as well as coordinate with your partner. The movement is in itself a form of physical exercise. Dance activates your body from so many angles, AND it is low impact, like walking & swimming. Above all, it is fun, engaging & provides community interaction, all of which are exceptionally helpful to the mental fitness of a senior person.
Let's encourage our elderly parents to get involved, & let's do it together.