Can Older People Build Lean Body Mass?


Aging inevitably leads to muscle loss, but it’s not irreversible. Older adults can maintain and even increase lean body mass through targeted exercise and diet.

Sarcopenia, the decline in muscle mass and strength, is primarily associated with aging. Muscle mass peaks around 30-35 years old, then gradually decline, accelerating after 65 (for women) or 70 (for men). This loss not only affects aesthetics and fitness but also bone health, leading to increased risks of conditions like osteoarthritis and falls.

To combat muscle loss:

1. Strength Training: Incorporate resistance exercises 3-4 times a week to stimulate muscle growth and strength. Work with a personal trainer if new to strength training.

2. Stay Active: Combat sedentary behavior by adding more movement throughout the day. Walking, especially when paired with resistance training, can improve muscle strength and function.

3. Proper Nutrition: Consume enough protein to support muscle repair and growth. Protein intake should be at least 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight, but individual needs vary.

4. Consider Supplements: Talk to a doctor about adding supplements like leucine or protein if your diet lacks essential nutrients.

By combining exercise, proper nutrition, and, if needed, supplements, older adults can maintain or increase lean muscle mass, leading to improved health and vitality.


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