There are plenty of ways to keep muscles healthy and injury-free as one ages, with the right combination of certain exercises, foods that build strong muscles and even getting enough sleep. Build up your balance and coordination with a fit routine, including these five tips.
Resistance training is the closest thing to the fountain of youth that we have,” says Brad Schoenfeld, a professor of exercise science at New York’s Lehman College. Doing simple exercises such as planks, squats or side bridges uses your own body weight against itself to promote muscle strength and function. Give tai chi or yoga a try if you want to mix up your routine.
According to the experts at Harvard Medical School: “Give muscles time off. [Resistance] training causes tiny tears in muscle tissue. These tears aren’t harmful, but they are important: Muscles grow stronger as the tears knit up. Always give your muscles at least 48 hours to recover [between] strength training sessions.”
Be Pro Protein
“Protein from food helps repair the damage from exercising and builds up more muscle, making them stronger,” says the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Good sources include chicken, eggs, salmon, soybeans, lean beef and Greek yogurt.
“It doesn’t matter how much protein you’re getting if you’re not getting adequate calories overall,” points out nutrition expert Carolyn Williams, author of the book Meals That Heal. Keep muscles well fed by consuming four to five small meals at regular intervals throughout the day.
“Poor sleep quality and short sleep duration are associated with an increased risk for muscle mass reduction. Thus they may also influence muscle strength,” says the National Institutes of Health. Getting seven to eight hours of shuteye a night allows muscles to repair and rejuvenate. It also gives you the energy to exercise!