Avoid losing muscle mass with consistent exercise and weight training

Beginning at about age 25, everyone slowly begins to lose muscle mass, and the loss is even greater if you’re inactive. This decline is significant, because muscle burns more calories than fat.

That’s why losing just one pound of muscle can cause your body to burn about 50 calories less a day, which may explain why so many people gain weight as they get older even though their eating habits remain unchanged.

The best way to slow muscle loss is through regular physical activity, including strength training, at least three times a week.

Rebuild  and Sustain Muscle

Have you been inactive for years? No problem, because muscle loss due to inactivity is completely reversible regardless of your age. In fact, even seniors can rebuild muscle at the same rate as younger people. It’s never too late to build muscle.

Eating a balanced diet also plays a significant role in slowing muscle loss, especially as we age. Ensure your diet is rich in the full spectrum of nutrients, including folic acid (fruits, vegetables and beans); vitamin B12 (all meats, dairy and seafood); vitamin E (vegetable oils, nuts and seeds); vitamin D (milk, fortified cereals, fish oils and sun exposure); and calcium (dairy products, green leafy vegetables and the bones of fish).

Originally published in Wellness Matters, Canada Wide Media’s quarterly newsletter on health and wellness.