4 Tips for Seniors Trying to Build Muscle

Older adults are often struggling to build muscle, though they desperately need the benefits of extra muscle mass to maintain their independence. However, there are plenty of ways seniors can build muscle and keep their mobility. Here are 4 essential tips for seniors trying to build muscle.

Talk to Your Doctor

You should talk to your doctor before you start a new exercise program or strength training program. Your doctor can recommend the right activity level for you. Discuss injuries you’ve had and medical conditions you’re dealing with so that the doctor can tell you what not to do. Talk to your doctor before you change your diet as well. You may need more protein in your diet, but that isn’t a given, and over-consuming protein doesn’t provide any benefits.

Take It Slow, Literally

Seniors need to take extra care and devote extra time to warming up. Recognize that you may need help to do things right, such as using a chair for support and balance as you’re starting squats for the first time. When you’re ramping up your routine, such as trying to add more reps or increase the weight, only go with gradual progressions.

Age doesn’t mean you cannot build musclemassor regain muscle mass that you’ve lost. You just need to take it slowly to work up to the levels you were once at. Don’t jerk the weights but keep your motions smooth and controlled. Make sure you breathe while you’re working out, despite the tendency to hold your breath while you’re lifting weights. If this is a challenge, consider going for resistance bands and similar equipment.

You should also take your time making workout routines more complex. Be realistic with regard to physical limitations, because you aren’t going to build muscle while recovering from an injury. At the end of a routine, take your time with the cool down, stretching each group of muscles you’ve just worked.

Drink, Drink, Drink

You need to take care to drink enough water. Your minimum water intake goes up with your exercise level. Drinking more water will also improve your body’s ability to absorb nutrients properly. Conversely, dehydration will leave you unduly exhausted.

Find Activities that Are a Workout

You can find plenty of advice for upping your activity level like parking further out so that you have to walk into the building or getting a dog so that you have to go for daily walks. You could consider taking up activities like gardening and light landscaping, for instance, which will allow you to maintain your muscle mass without too much effort. If you’re new to gardening, sites like Igardenplanting.com provide plenty of good advice on how to raise anything from herbs to fruits to maintaining your own lawn.

Another option is setting up a routine so that you’re working out several times a week. Maybe you need to work with a personal trainer to maintain the motivation. Note that you can ask a personal trainer about exercises that are suitable for your current abilities, as well.

Regardless of what you choose, pick a routine or activity you can keep up over time.

Seniors can work out to regain muscle mass or strength they’ve lost if they take the proper steps. With a little planning, you’ll not only protect yourself from injuries, but will ensure that you maintain the good habits needed to improve your quality of life.