Muscle health is often a good indicator of how one is going to age and stay active.
Muscles are the largest component of your total lean body mass
(or LBM), which is everything that makes up your body except fat. In fact, your muscles typically make up 50 to 60 percent of your body weight. The role of your muscles goes beyond simply allowing you to move and maintain your balance. Healthy muscles are also essential for physical strength, organ function, skin integrity, immunity, and wound healing. That’s why healthy muscles are critical to enjoying and achieving all of life’s possibilities as you age.
Muscle health can often tell you how you’ll age and how you’ll stay active and independent. Therefore, it is important to understand what muscle health is and how it affects your life. doctor Irfan ShaykhChief, Physician and Scientific Affairs in the Abbott Nutrition business sheds light on the things you need to know about your muscles and your health.
muscle mass as you age
Starting at age 40, adults can lose up to 8% of their muscle mass per decade. After age 70, that rate can double. In fact, the loss of muscle mass is also accelerated due to poor nutrition, illness and chronic diseases. Loss of muscle mass can affect your energy levels and mobility, increase your risk of falls and fractures, and even delay recovery from illness or surgery. You can move easily and keep your body robust with healthy muscles. They support your daily activities like playing sports, dancing, walking your dog, swimming, and other things that require physical movement. Your joints can work better when you have strong muscles. You may be more prone to knee injuries if, for example, the muscles around your knee become weak. Muscle health also helps maintain balance.
Muscles and immune health
If you want to build a strong immune system and reduce your risk of bacterial and viral infections, don’t underestimate your muscles. Muscle tissue plays a role in activating immune cells, and people with lower muscle and strength levels have reduced immune function. To improve your immune health, take a look at your overall diet and focus your meals on lean protein, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and beans, and low-fat dairy. Together, these foods provide micronutrients such as calcium, vitamin Diron and antioxidants that can help keep your immune system strong and rejuvenate muscle health.
Muscle loss and recovery
Your muscles are a critical source of strength and energy as you recover. When you’re sick or hospitalized, your body often doesn’t get enough of the nutrients it needs to recover, like protein, which causes it to break down muscle tissue. This type of muscle loss is associated with delayed recovery from illness, slower wound healing, and decreased quality of life.
Identify muscle loss
The good news is that grip strength is an easy way to assess your overall muscle strength: Just by squeezing an orange or noticing how firm your handshake is, you can determine your muscle strength.
Rebuilding muscle and strength.
Losing muscle is natural, but its rate of progression and negative effects do not have to be. You can take simple steps to slow muscle loss to help maintain a healthy lifestyle and continue doing the things you love to do. The best part is that it’s never too late to regain muscle and strength or fight long tail infection symptoms due to muscle loss. It can be achieved through a combination of strength training and a complete and balanced diet with sufficient protein and nutrients.
On the nutritional front, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and vitamin B3 are some key nutrients for maintaining muscle health. Regular checking of muscle strength is also essential. You can test your locomotor ability and find out how good your muscle strength is and learn what to do first to help prevent and delay muscle loss and strength.
Muscles play an important role in many aspects of life, and there are many effective ways to test and improve your strength. Talk to your doctor about healthy options to preserve muscle loss.