If you want to get stronger to stay independent, reduce the risk of injury, and boost your quality of life, it’s important to keep one thing in mind: consistency.
Being consistent is the only way to achieve strong, healthy muscles. That means exercising multiple times per week and ensuring you’re regularly giving your body what it needs to fuel exercise and stimulate muscle growth.
Exercising once per week and having roasted chicken for dinner on Sunday nights isn’t going to cut it.
Ideally, you want to get some form of exercise every single day. You don’t need a ton of it, either. You can build and maintain muscle by doing some resistance training for about 30-minutes three times per week.
It’s also wise to do some aerobic exercise, like walking, every day. Walking can also help build leg muscle because it’s load-bearing. It also contributes to balance and mental and cardiovascular health.
Regularly eating protein-rich foods and fruits and vegetables also helps build muscle. Complete proteins, like those found in animal-based foods, are the building blocks of muscle. Aim for roughly 1.2-1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight to build and maintain muscle.
What does that look like? It looks like a little bit of protein at every meal. Eggs or egg whites at breakfast; tuna or chicken at lunch; and salmon, turkey, steak, or chicken at dinner. Some Greek yogurt as a snack, shake, or nuts can also help you get there.
Fruits and vegetables are important because they give your body the nutrients to fight inflammation, stay healthy, and function optimally. They can provide energy and aid in exercise recovery.
Muscle mass and strength are severely overlooked in aging populations. It plays a major role in overall health and illness and injury risk and is an essential part of independent, high-quality life.