How to Maintain Muscle Mass as You Age

Did you know that by the time you’re 70 years of age you could lose up to 25% of your muscle? Physician and nutrition expert Dr. Paul Wischmeyer joins The Doctors to share how you can safeguard against losing muscle mass.

Everyone loses muscle naturally but it becomes an even bigger issue when you’re experiencing a health event. Dr. Paul Wischmeyer says you can lose 8% of your muscle mass every decade you are over 40 years of age. And when you’re over 70 years old it’s even worse - 15% of your muscle mass can be lost. But getting sick or experiencing prolonged bed rest can contribute to something call sarcopenia, which is the most severe form of muscle loss.

Dr. Wischmeyer has experienced muscle loss himself. He was in the best shape of his life but then had to undergo a sudden operation. Afterwards, he lost 40 pounds in 17 days. Losing muscle this quickly can lead to a prolonged or slower recovery, hospital readmission and even mortality.

Decrease in muscle strength can also affect balance and the ability to perform everyday tasks like going up the stairs or getting out of a chair. When you’ve lost a lot of muscle, it can feel like you’re walking around wearing a heavy, weighted jacket. Even simple things can feel nearly impossible to do.

Three easy tips to help maintain healthy muscle mass after a health event:

  1. Become active again!  You need to build muscle back as soon as possible, so use weights and resistance bands to increase muscle strength and endurance. This can be useful for both preventing and treating muscle loss as you get older.
  2. Soak up the sun! Vitamin D is vital to recovering muscle and functionality. Many people are vitamin D deficient and don't get enough of it their diets. 
  3. Add high quality protein! Dietary protein is made up of amino acids, which have been shown to preserve and rebuild muscle after muscle loss. 

Staying active, and getting the right amount of calories, proteins, vitamins and nutrients in your diet will help maintain strength and function. This can be hard to do if you're recovering from an illness or injury because you don't always feel like eating. In this case, Dr. Wischmeyer recommends seeking out a nutrition shake packed with protein. 

One of the nutrition shakes Dr. Wischmeyer recommends is Ensure Enlive, a high-protein nutrition shake that can help rebuild muscle. One of its unique ingredients is the supplement HMB, which works with protein to help preserve muscle. The drink also supports bone, heart, immune and digestive health with things like vitamin D and other key antioxidants.

If you’re dealing with muscle loss or caring for someone who is, visit www.Ensure.com/Enlive for more information. 

Sponsored content by Ensure® Enlive®

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