Aging can tear down a senior’s muscles, but living a healthy and active lifestyle can build those muscles back up. Muscle loss generally accelerates at a rapid rate after the age of 70. Seniors can use the following tips to slow down muscle loss and boost their strength.
1. Eat Nutritious Foods
The minerals, vitamins, and nutrients seniors consume daily are responsible for muscle growth as well as hormone production. For example, when seniors eat adequate amounts of protein and essential fats each day, they can experience optimal muscle growth. Vegetables and healthy carbohydrates can boost bone health and help with recovery. However, seniors need to limit their carbohydrate intake to avoid excessive fat gain. To build muscle strength, seniors need the healthiest sources of carbohydrates, proteins, and essential fats, which include the following foods:
- Sweet potatoes
- Lean poultry
- Olive oil
- Black beans
- Whole grains
- Brown rice
Some aging adults need help with preparing healthy meals so they get the nutrition they need. If your senior loved one needs hourly or more extensive in-home care, San Diego Assisting Hands Home Care can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks.
2. Do Strength Training
Strength training builds muscle and strengthens the connections between the nerves and muscle cells, which helps elderly people maintain the muscles they have. Strength training can also help the body use protein more effectively. Consult with your loved one’s doctor to determine what strengthening activities your loved one’s body can handle. The best strength training exercises for aging adults are:
- Knee extensions
- Weight lifting
- Partial squats
- Shoulder exercises
If your loved one needs help adopting healthy routines that build muscle strength, consider enlisting the help of a professional caregiver. When considering elder care, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits.
3. Get a Good Night’s Rest
When seniors sleep, their energy levels decrease, allowing their bodies to use the nutrients consumed to build muscles more efficiently. During sleep, the body releases growth hormones naturally, enhancing muscle recovery and regeneration. The brain also recharges during sleep, helping aging adults stay motivated as they adopt healthy lifestyle choices that can boost their muscle strength and overall quality of life. Optimal bone strength is also promoted when seniors get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night.
4. Stay Active throughout the Day
The little things your parent does each day could have a significant impact on his or her muscle strength. For instance, when your loved one goes shopping, he or she should take the stairs instead of the elevator. Your loved one can also help out with household chores instead of relying on you to do the laundry, cook meals, and clean up around the home.
Taking on daily tasks challenges the muscles. Instead of sitting down when watching television, listening to music, or visiting social media sites on a smartphone, your loved one should stand up for a few minutes to strengthen the muscles in his or her legs.
Some aging adults may need help choosing healthy foods and getting the exercise they need to stay strong in the golden years. In San Diego, homecare services agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Assisting Hands Home Care, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. Our caregivers encourage seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. To learn more about our premier in-home care plans, call us at 858-667-0813 today.