4 Ways to Build Muscle in the Golden Years

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Older adults often experience a significant decrease in muscle mass as they age, but there are ways to turn it all around. Maintaining a healthy weight and living an active lifestyle can help seniors strengthen their bones. Continue reading to learn some of the different ways your aging loved one can build muscle strength. 

1. Stay Physically Active

Exercise is essential for aging adults because it helps them burn calories, regulate their blood pressure, reduce stress, and boost their bone health. There are a variety of fun physical activities your loved one can do to work out the muscles and increase their size, endurance, and strength. Ideal activities for seniors who want to build muscle strength include:

  • Walking 
  • Water aerobics
  • Dancing
  • Weightlifting
  • Cycling
  • Gardening
  • Tennis
  • Hiking

If your loved one needs help adopting healthy routines that build muscle strength, consider enlisting the help of a professional caregiver. When considering homecare, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits.

2. Eat More Protein

When seniors add protein to their diet, they can increase muscle strength, enhance balance, alleviate joint and muscle pain, and maintain bone density. Protein stimulates muscle growth, helping the body fight the effects aging has on skeletal muscle. Building muscle strength could make your loved one less vulnerable to falls and bone disorders. Good sources of protein for seniors who want to build their muscle strength include:

  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Lean red meat (in moderation)
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Legumes
  • Whey protein powder (can be added to shakes and smoothies)

Consume Plenty of Vitamin D

A deficiency in vitamin D could lead to softer and weaker bones, causing seniors to develop mobility problems and chronic pain. Getting enough vitamin D can help the muscles move and grow. Consuming adequate amounts of vitamin D can also help with posture control, muscle strength, and other daily functions, such as walking around and getting in and out of bed. Getting the vitamin D the body needs and staying active can lower the risk of osteoporosis, fractures, and falls while boosting mobility and maintaining independence. 

Some aging adults need help to get the nutrition they need, and the amount of assistance required can vary, from occasional to around the clock. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of in-home care. Frederick families can rely on Assisting Hands Home Care to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our caregivers help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and we offer mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

Get Adequate Sleep

Muscles grow while seniors are sleeping, which is why older adults should get at least eight hours of rest each night. During sleep, the body stores glucose in the muscles, producing more energy and helping the muscles grow and recover. Inadequate amounts of sleep can cause a decrease in muscle mass. Without rest, your loved one may not experience the muscle gains or recovery needed to build bone strength. 

Develop a good bedtime routine to help your loved one sleep throughout the night. Your parent should avoid eating heavy foods and engaging in high-energy activities a couple of hours before bedtime. Taking long naps during the day can also disrupt sleep quality. 

Some aging adults may need help choosing healthy foods and getting the exercise they need to stay strong in the golden years. In Frederick, home care service agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Assisting Hands Home Care, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. Our highly trained caregivers encourage seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. Give us a call today at (301) 786-5045 to learn about our flexible in-home care plans.