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How Can Senior Citizens Build Muscle?

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A smiling senior woman exercising with dumbbells.

As we get older, it becomes more and more important to maintain our health and stay in shape. Aging is a natural process, but that doesn’t mean we should let it slow us down. It’s never too late to take control of your health and work towards improving your physical strength. After all, muscle strength plays a critical role in our daily lives! It helps us maintain balance, move around safely, and even prevent injuries. But how can seniors build muscle?

It can help to:

  1. Focus on your diet
  2. Remember to stretch before exercising
  3. Try body weight exercises
  4. Perform light weight lifting
  5. Make sure you get enough sleep
  6. Take care of yourself

1. Focus on Your Diet

Think of your body like a car. In order for it to work properly, it needs the right fuel. You shouldn’t just put anything in the tank and hope it runs—a car needs specific things in order to run properly.

Your body is similar. What you put in directly affects your ability to grow muscle, recover properly, and maintain your weight. Nutrient-rich foods are absolutely essential for your body to get the fuel it needs. If you’re trying to build muscle, you’ll need foods that are rich in:

  • Protein
  • Healthy fats
  • Complex carbohydrates

Your body needs these to make the energy you need to stay active. Don’t forget to eat lots of fruits and vegetables—they’re absolutely incredible for you! And once you have the right fuel, you can go into a workout feeling raring to go.

2. Remember to Stretch Before Exercising

Before starting any workout, you should always stretch. It’s a crucial part of getting ready for any kind of physical activity—it’s a great way to prepare your body to start and stay moving.

Stretching offers wonderful benefits. It can help:

  • Increase your flexibility
  • Lower your risk of injury
  • Improve your performance during your workout

Try to always stretch before you work out, and then the same when you’re done. This simple habit can be a great way for you to make a difference in your exercising! After all, the last thing you need is to hurt yourself.

3. Try Body Weight Exercises

When imagining exercising, most people seem to think they need to go find the heaviest weights they can and go until they have to stop. But this isn’t true—and it’s a quick way to hurt yourself when you’re starting to exercise.

It can help to start with any exercise that uses your own body weight as resistance. Try:

  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Push-ups

These can all be modified to different fitness levels, and you can do them anywhere you’d like. Whether you’re at home, at the gym, or visiting a friend and want to get a quick workout in, body weight exercises can be a convenient way to build and maintain your muscle mass.

4: Perform Light Weight Lifting

Once you’ve warmed up, weight lifting can help. But again, you don’t need to go overboard. Start small, and work your way up—if you aren’t trying to be a bodybuilder there’s no need to grab the 50lb weights! Trying to lift too much at once can be extremely hard on the body, and it’s important that you learn—and stick to—your limits.

Weight lifting can be a fantastic way to build muscle for seniors. Gradually increase the weight until you’ve found a good place; it shouldn’t be too heavy or light. If you’re unsure of where to start, try talking to the people nearby.

Remember: it isn’t about how much weight you lift. Rather, it’s about how consistently you do the exercises.

5. Make Sure You Get Enough Sleep

Once you’ve finished your exercise and the day is winding down, there’s another piece of the puzzle to think about: making sure you get enough sleep. When you’re sleeping, your body is recovering and rebuilding the damaged cells.

This makes it essential to take the extra step to get enough sleep every night. Try and aim for about 7-9 hours each night so you can have enough time to rest and repair. Sleep deprivation is nothing to sneeze at!

Close up of a senior man’s hand cutting a grilled steak with rice on the side of the plate.

6. Take Care of Yourself

Building muscle as a senior might seem daunting, but with patience, dedication, and the right approach, it’s entirely possible. It’s important that you remember to take care of yourself along the way—and we’d love to help nurture your personal growth. We’re here to help you make a difference in your own life. Why not book a tour with us? Let’s celebrate life together!

Written by Parsons House La Porte

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