Mailbag! STOP Senior Muscle Loss with THIS
I’m looking to build muscle and stay strong. What would you recommend in the way of supplements and exercises? I’m a senior, so I don’t want anything too intense.
–Ron from Weirton, WV
This is actually an area I love to talk about. Keeping muscle mass as you age is one of the keys to avoiding disease and living longer.
Strange as it may sound, measuring how much muscle mass someone has is one of the best predictors of how long they will live. People with a lot of muscle just live longer than those who don’t.
I should stop here and clarify: when I talk about more muscle mass, I’m not talking about bulking up like Arnold Schwarzenegger. I’m just talking about keeping the muscles you already have.
Age-related muscle loss (called sarcopenia) is supposedly a “normal” part of aging. If you’re typical, you lose about five percent of your muscle mass every decade after your 30s. And that adds up to a 30-40 percent muscle loss during your lifetime.
Here’s what good muscle mass can do for you:
- Good muscle tone helps keep joints and bones healthy.
- Low muscle tone is a common feature in many chronic diseases such as osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity, fragile bones, and even stress.
- Muscles play a powerful role in your metabolism – if you want to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, good muscle tone is a key.
- More muscle increases insulin sensitivity, which helps keep your blood sugar low.
If you want to stay healthy your whole life, you’ve got to build and keep muscles.
It really is that simple.
How can you do get started?
First, here are some supplements that can help.
- Magnesium helps build muscles, promotes muscle relaxation, and prevents cramping.
- Iron helps to bring oxygen to your muscles. This is important because without oxygen your muscles can’t function properly. Important:do not take iron if you are post-menopausal or male unless you have a blood test proving you are low.
- Vitamin D is necessary for immune function and to strengthen your bones, but it’s also important for muscle growth maintenance because it helps build testosterone. Believe it or not, this male hormone is critical for good muscle-building in both men and women.
- Protein is absolutely essential to building and helping repair muscles. Eating a wide variety of proteins is your best bet.
- Vitamin B-12 is vital for oxygen delivery to muscles.
The exercise part is a bit more difficult to suggest. You can’t build muscle without exercise, but every person has a different level of exercise ability. It’s for this reason that I always suggest people hire a personal trainer who can evaluate you and give you some ideas. It usually only takes a session or two and you can head out on your own.
I will tell you, you’ll want to focus on large muscles, like legs and arms, and work out two to three times a week.
Best of luck!
Dr. Scott Olson, ND
P.S. Have a health concern that’s worrying you? Click here to submit your questions and get featured in the weekly mailbag!
Written By Dr. Scott Olson, ND
Nearly 25 years ago, failed mainstream medical treatments left Dr. Olson in constant pain – and his health in ruins. And that’s when he did something REVOLUTIONARY. He began his career in medicine – and dedicated his life to uncovering the true, underlying causes of disease.
Through his innovative medical practices in Tennessee and Colorado, Dr. Olson has helped cure countless seniors from across America of arthritis… heart disease… diabetes… and even cancer. All without risky prescription drugs or painful surgeries.
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