As older adults, keeping skeletal muscle function is key for longevity. Please note that the term “older adults” is preferred, instead of “elderly people,” which can be offensive. “Seniors” is borderline OK. Also, note that the word “old” is not synonymous with the word “little.” My commanding 6-foot-tall grandmother would have towered over you.
Back to muscle health. If you’re planning to scoot all over the floor with your future grandchildren or great-grandchildren, lift weight to grow strong.
Do some strengthening exercises at home with no special equipment or join a gym. Check out 125 Live in Rochester, where many members are older adults. Attend fitness classes and adopt the instructors’ exercise modifications as needed to fit your ability. The center also has fitness classes geared toward people with Parkinson’s Disease and people who have survived cancer.
If you would rather breathe fresh air and be outside when the weather is nice, turn your neighborhood into your outdoor gym. Take a resistance band with you. This lightweight and portable strength training tool can strengthen any muscle group on your body. You can also add some wall push-ups. Or get a personal trainer to help you grow your muscle health.
Combine physical training and nutrition. Increase your protein intake to improve muscle function and prevent the onset of chronic diseases. Instead of a bowl of cereal or a bagel, grab a bowl of lentils or beans or eat a smoked salmon filet. In a hurry one morning? Have at least a good-quality protein shake.
Revolutionize the way you picture healthy living. Read “The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer” by co-author Elizabeth Blackburn, Ph.D., winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. ::
By Kabuika Kamunga and Barbara Jordan