Building Muscle After Age 50
There are a lot of studies out there showing that age 50 is right around the point that most people start to see serious declines in their muscle and bone health and serious increases in their weight, so they must start a Building Muscle program.
Many of these studies have also found that staying active past age 50 can help you to stay healthy and active for longer. There are, however, a few things to consider when you try Building Muscle after age 50. This shouldn't mean that now is the time to give up.
In many ways, Building Muscle after age 50 is the same as Building Muscle earlier in life, but your body also changes in many ways. To safely stay active after age fifty, be sure to keep in contact with your doctor for information on the exercises and nutrition that will keep you healthy.
An article published by Harvard Health points out that the dietary needs for Building Muscle are the same for older individuals as they are for younger individuals.
Protein and iron are the principal nutrients of Building Muscle, so you should continue to incorporate these into your diet if you intend on Building Muscle into old age.
Bone health can also be a problem after age 50, and because your muscles work by exerting a force on your bones, the weakness of your bones limits the extent to which you can safely exercise your muscle.
Fortunately, it also means that working your muscles help to keep your bones strong. To build strong bones you'll need lots of calcium, as well as salts like magnesium.
These salts are also important for conducting the nerve signals that communicate between your nervous system and your muscular system, so it's even more important to make sure that you are getting enough.
Harvard Health also recommends progressive resistance training for Building Muscle at any age, but particularly after age 50.
Progressive Resistance Training
Progressive resistance training is just regular Building Muscle exercises, but it emphasizes working with lower masses and building your way up.
This kind of exercise is often recommended for elderly people trying to maintain their fitness, though it is also used in physical therapy for people who have suffered injuries.
This method encourages the building of muscle but discourages the kind of strenuous and rapid advancement often pursued by people earlier in life who are trying to build muscle quickly.
After all, Building Muscle quickly isn't usually the goal in old age.
According to Cochrane, a group of independent health researchers, progressive resistance training isn't only good for Building Muscle.
As people age, they tend to lose muscle and bone health, and they also have a harder time with everyday activities like walking.
This can lead not only to a decreased quality of life but also due to danger from falls. A 2009 article published by Cochrane says that decline in capacity to do these everyday activities was also improved by participation in a progressive resistance training routine.
Know Your Limits
Unfortunately, the article also said that "adverse events" - accidents - related to progressive resistance training may be under-reported, suggesting that it might not be as safe as is often thought.
The best way to go forward is not to push your body too hard. Earlier in life, many athletes will exercise to exhaustion to Building Muscle, repeating an exercise until they cannot complete it anymore.
This kind of exercise damages the muscles, and studies have shown that the muscles may grow faster as they rebuild, but when you are older your body may not be able to recover so quickly.
Doing exercises below your maximum capacity may not feel like you're doing enough, but they can safely go a long way to preventing the muscle loss and fat gain that is characteristic of old age.