Many of my over-40 male patients are concerned that they are losing muscle mass and ask me if there are any special exercises they can do to keep their muscles strong. Yes, there are many strength and muscle mass-building methods that can be done in a gym, or at home, with specific weight training.
In addition, one of the first things I tell my patients about maintaining and building muscle mass is to spend a little time in the kitchen! No, not weight training with the appliances, rather, spending some time preparing the correct type of foods that will help you build muscle from the inside out. Let me explain how.
As I frequently explain to my patients, optimal nutrition is the cornerstone of not only achieving and maintaining a healthy weight but also of preserving all-important muscle tissue. Muscle strength is important throughout all your life, but especially as you get older as it helps you stay active. As we get older, we all experience somesarcopenia, or loss of muscle mass, at a rate of 0.4 pounds of muscle a year!
However, one of the big reasons we lose muscle mass is most always because our nutritional intake of protein, and critical muscle-preserving nutrients like carnitine and other vitamins and minerals that feed and preserve muscles are likely inadequate. Here are the foods and nutrients that will help you preserve and build muscle strength:
What Else Preserves/Builds Muscle?
Some of my patients, in an attempt to lose body fat faster, do a lot of heavier aerobic exercise (running, treadmill, etc), i.e., more than 45 minutes a day x 7 days a week. This is counterproductive and can actually cause you to lose muscle! To preserve/build muscles, here’s what type of exercise I recommend:
I hope these tips and recommendations will help you think differently about how to go about preserving and building muscle mass. Starting with the healthiest foods and optimal nutrition you can give your body will put you on the right road to strong muscles that will help keep you active throughout your entire life!