When it comes to muscles people often think of the sculpted bodies of athletes or bodybuilders.
But muscles are necessary to us all, just as the heart, brain, skin and bones, and we all have them.
Few people know however, that after the age of 35, our muscle mass will decrease by up to 1% each year. Once you reach the age of 75 years old if nothing is done to slow this process, you may find yourself with 40% less muscle mass!
This muscle loss causes a loss of strength and autonomy that iss very often the basis of the downward spiral that leads to frailty of old-age that is marked by weakness, loss of balance and difficulty leaving home. In turn this can lead to psychological changes that lead to isolation and consequently even the slowing down of cognitive functions.
Muscles health is not the only factor of course but remember that strong and healthy muscles help regulate glycaemia, blood pressure and even mood. Muscles help keep strong bones and this is why they are a central aspect being in good health.
There is no need to engage in extreme activities to avoid this downward spiral but make some space in your weekly routine for some training with weights or resistance bands or a simple workout coupled with a healthy dose of aerobic activity such as walking, running, swimming or cycling. Remember that to maintain healthy muscles you need to absorb adequate protein by eating fish, vegetables and lean meats. If working out for cosmetic reasons is not your thing, before you dismiss exercise outright, remember that more muscle equals longer life.
Dr. Filippo Ongaro
to learn more: http://www.filippo-ongaro.it/
In the cover image: ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet training on the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device at NASA Johnson Space Center’s Columbia Center, 16 September 2014.