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The phrase “Use it or lose it” has never been more true than when it comes to muscle mass.  Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle mass that is commonly seen in older people, and it begins at age 30.  Muscle mass is a must – loss of muscle mass matters because:

-It lessens bone and joint strength
-It lessens mobility and balance
-It weakens your immune system
-It contributes to chronic diseases like; arthritis, back and joint pain, obesity, diabetes, and
heart disease.

These are all preventable and reversible by growing muscle. We do this by lifting weight and eating adequate protein – both essential building blocks for muscle growth and maintenance.  Neither carbohydrates nor fats can provide the muscle with the amino acids necessary to grow.  To grow muscle mass, eat 1/2 - 1 gram of protein per pound of desired body weight. If your desired weight is 120, eat 120 grams of protein. Check with your doctor and make sure your kidneys are functioning normally.

Strength training is a key component of overall health and fitness at any age.  Building muscle will give you stronger bones and joints, better stamina, better balance and stability, a stronger immune system and a better physique.  If you can’t join a gym and don’t want a bunch of free weights lying around, get some resistance bands. You can build muscle right in front of your TV.  Be sure to take “before” pictures to motivate you.

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