After age 30, you can expect to lose up to 5% of your muscle mass every decade—unless you work to maintain or improve it. This loss of muscle mass is known as sarcopenia, which is (unfortunately) a natural part of aging. 

The good news is that it’s possible to reverse it and gain muscle mass after 30 and beyond. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how to minimize age-related muscle loss, increase muscle mass, and continue participating in the activities you love— at any age!

What Causes Sarcopenia?

Sarcopenia can be attributed to various factors, with the aging process being a primary contributor. As individuals grow older, there is a natural decline in muscle mass and strength, leading to the onset of sarcopenia. Inactivity or a sedentary lifestyle accelerates this process, as muscles require regular use and resistance to maintain optimal function. Poor nutrition, particularly inadequate protein intake, also plays a significant role in the development of sarcopenia, as proteins are essential for muscle repair and synthesis. Hormonal changes associated with aging, such as a decline in growth hormone and testosterone levels, further contribute to muscle loss. Chronic illnesses, especially those affecting the musculoskeletal system, can exacerbate sarcopenia, highlighting the importance of a comprehensive approach to maintain muscle health throughout the aging journey.

It’s important to include resistance training in your regular regime to ensure you maintain your muscle mass. Staying active is anti-aging and prevents the main causes of morbidity and mortality.

How To Train For Your Age

Strengthening exercises using dumbbells, resistance bands, or bodyweight will increase your muscle tissue and build strength. It can also prevent age-related injuries, such as back pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, and more. 

A customized exercise plan based on your unique needs, injury history and available equipment is an excellent investment – especially as you age. The right plan doesn’t have to be complicated – or involve a ton of equipment – it just has to be right for you. 

Whether you choose to get professional help or incorporate weight training on your own, here are a few tips for success:

Stay Consistent

When it comes to muscle, our bodies subscribe to the ‘if you don’t use it, you lose it’ rule of thumb. This means performing strengthening workouts regularly and making progress as time goes on (such as moving onto a harder variation of an exercise or adding more weight, or performing more reps.)

Watch Your Diet

Building muscle mass isn’t just about what you do in the gym – diet matters too. Many people don’t consume enough protein – it’s a great idea to get some dietary advice from a professional to ensure your diet supports your goals and contributes to your success.

Be Patient

Growing muscle takes time! Plus, learning proper techniques can be a learning curve for many individuals. So we recommend a ‘slow and steady’ approach, focused on safety and form above all else.

It’s crucial to start with lighter weights and gradually increase resistance as your strength improves. Consistency is key; regular, moderate-intensity workouts are more effective than sporadic intense sessions. Incorporating a well-balanced diet, with emphasis on protein intake, supports muscle growth and repair.

Additionally, listening to your body and allowing sufficient rest between workouts is vital to prevent overtraining and reduce the risk of injuries, ensuring a sustainable and successful muscle-building journey. A Nielsen Fitness personal trainer can help you safely and consistently grow muscle.

Walk Daily

On top of resistance training, daily walks can help increase your muscle mass, endurance, flexibility, and mobility. Research even shows that walking regularly may slow biological aging.

Incorporating diverse physical activities, such as swimming or yoga, can further enhance your overall fitness and contribute to a well-rounded exercise routine. Consistency in combining various forms of exercise, hydration, and adequate rest can significantly optimize your fitness journey and promote long-term health benefits.

It’s Never Too Late!

At Nielsen Fitness, we’d love to help you get started with a muscle-building and longevity plan. Our team is proud to offer virtual personal training or provide a personal trainer within the comfort of your own home.

We offer in-home personal training in Toronto, Hamilton, London, Collingwood, Ottawa. Get in touch with us today and see the difference working with a personal trainer makes!

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We'd love to help you get started with a muscle-building and longevity plan.