How to Combat Muscle Loss as You Age
One of the most noticeable changes in your body with aging is muscle loss. The amount of muscle in your body starts to decrease in your 30s, and by the time you are in your sixties, you lose 30 percent, and by your eighties, about 50 percent of muscle is lost.
According to a study by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, 56 percent of people aged 85 or older experienced difficulties doing daily routines such as sitting down, walking and eating, as well as doing household chores and using public transportation.
About a quarter of them had trouble walking or eating without help. Doctors see muscle atrophy as one of the major factors behind this.
While the number of muscle cells in your body decrease as you get older, the level of physical activity also goes down.
If muscle mass decreases and muscular strength weakens, the likelihood of having physical disability increases by four times and chances of developing a disorder goes up by two to three times.
In order to prevent muscle atrophy, it is advised to eat sufficient amounts of protein. For the elderly, 1 to 1.2 g of protein should be consumed for every 1 kg of body weight.
For adults in other age groups, the daily recommended amount of protein is 0.8 g for every 1 kg of body weight. It is also helpful to start weight training as early as your twenties and thirties.