It’s natural to lose muscle mass as you age. This process is called sarcopenia. Sarcopenia puts you more at risk of developing a chronic illness. NCBI defines sarcopenia as a “syndrome characterized by progressive and generalized loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength and it is strictly correlated with a physical disability, poor quality of life and death.” As you lose muscle mass, your body starts to store more fat.
It is said that Sarcopenia only occurs in people that are inactive. But even people who stay physically active are prone to have Sarcopenia.
If you used to have that bodybuilder type of look when you were younger, you will notice that you find it hard to maintain that some muscle mass as you get older – unless you’re losing steroids. But there are natural ways on how to build or maintain muscle mass in your 50s.
- Increase Protein Intake. Decrease Carb Intake
Increasing your protein intake is key to gaining or maintaining muscle mass, especially when you get older. Trimming down your carbs will also be of help too if your main focus is on gaining lean muscle mass.
As you get older, your body’s metabolism starts to slow down which means that your body will not be able to convert all the food you eat into energy. So you will need to watch what you eat to avoid gaining too much fat.
So focus on eating foods that are rich in protein such as:
- Chicken Breast
- Lean Beef
- Dairy – yogurt, milk and cheese
- Resistance Training
Resistance training helps develop muscle and strength. Resistance training can be in the form of using free weights or it can be in the form of using your own bodyweight.
Both free weights and bodyweight training achieve the same goal but the level of progression for both of them are different. Some men prefer weight training while some men prefer bodyweight training. It doesn’t matter which one you choose, the important thing is to give your muscles some sort of stimulus through resistance training.
Before diving into any sort of resistance training, it’s important to advise your doctor beforehand.
There are also heaps of free resources on the internet for workout guides if you don’t want to splash too much money on a personal trainer.
- Stay Active
If you think that resistance training is not your cup of tea, that doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything else. You can still stay active by:
- Doing some gardening
- Going for walks or runs
- Play recreational sports like backyard basketball, tennis, etc.
The list goes on and on but those are just a few examples. The important thing is that you keep your body moving.
You Can Build Muscle In Your 50s
The 3 methods mentioned are natural ways you can build or maintain muscle in your 50s. You can increase your protein intake, perform some kind of resistance training, or stay active by going for a walk.
Our bodies were designed to move, so make you are using your body daily.