When THE LIST, a national daily TV show that covers the hottest trends and topics, asked longevity expert Joseph Maroon, MD, FACS to share his best muscle health tips, this veteran of 72 triathlons and eight Ironman triathlons. emphasized that our muscles are critical to everything we do in life. But by age 40, you start to lose your muscle mass and this continues every year thereafter. Eventually, extensive muscle loss occurs over time, which will impact your quality of life and even longevity.
Maroon offered three tips to help you understand where you are with your muscle health, and he offers tips for you to preserve your muscle mass while you age:
- Determine your grip strength. “How long we live has been correlated with measuring handgrip strength on a simple dynamometer.” This simple-to-use device costs around $30. One way to improve your overall strength is by doing resistance training exercises. While Maroon uses exercise bands, he says doing push-ups against a wall as well as other bodyweight movements can also help.
- Take a quality muscle health supplement to help you maintain your muscle mass. “This is how muscles are built up,” Maroon explained. He advises taking supplements that contain HMB (beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate) plus vitamin D. HMB plus vitamin D turns on your protein-building machinery that builds muscle while simultaneously protecting muscles from breaking down by reducing protein breakdown, meaning your muscle improves your strength, energy, and endurance.
- Avoid environmental toxins such as excess alcohol, smoking, and air pollution. Maroon says these toxins can damage nerves, causing muscles to atrophy and be destroyed. He suggests eating organic foods to avoid excessive exposure to pesticides.
Many people fear losing their cognitive ability as they age. But if you also don’t do something about losing muscle mass and muscle function, it could ultimately lead to losing your physical independence and quality of life. Foods and dietary supplements containing HMB + vitamin D can be found online and in your local food, drug, club, and health food stores.
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