7 Proven Ways to Build and Maintain Long-Lasting Muscle
Our body starts wearing out with age, and like machinery needs regular servicing and greasing, it needs proper nutrients and a healthy lifestyle. When I talk about lifestyle, I’m referring to a balanced and healthy diet along with regular exercise.
If you are over the age of 30 and are keen to know how to prevent age-related muscle loss, then you are in the right place! Also, if you are younger, then it is always advisable to focus on your health care at an early age.
Here are my 7 proven ways to build and maintain long-lasting muscle
Suggestion #1: Balanced Diet
The most critical factor in staying in shape is to have a healthy diet. The essential compositions of a healthy diet include food that will feed your body with the proportionate balance of carbohydrates, proteins and all the necessary minerals, irons and vitamins. Water is another important component of our body, and sufficient intake of water is also an important constituent of diet.
Be sure to include a healthful intake of milk products, poultry items, green and leafy vegetables with your meals, and keep sugar intake to a minimum. Don’t let your stomach stay empty for too long a period of time. You may end up getting too hungry, and making poor food choices as a result.
It is also advisable to consider the use of multivitamin supplements to help ensure you’re getting an adequate intake of key nutrients you may not always be getting from your diet. It is good to take guidance from experts or trainers on specific brand recommendations, they can also help you to draw a diet chart depending on your BMI.
Suggestion #2: Strength Training
Strength training is vitally important and cannot be ignored if you are keen on building your muscles effectively! A qualified strength trainer/coach will educate you on exercises to strengthen your muscles, and he/she will also be your healthcare facilitator. There are various exercises like push-ups, weightlifting, and sit-ups that help you to make your hand; legs, chest and other muscles gain the desired strength. You can do these exercises on your own, but to ensure the desired results in a limited time, the guidance of a strength trainer or a gym instructor is advisable.
Suggestion #3: Go Beyond Protein
You might be under the notion that for building strong muscles, the maximum intake of protein is the key—but really the goal should be to take in 0.8 to 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram (1 kg. = 2.2 lbs.) of body weight. So for a 75 kg (165 man), that means 60-90 grams of protein But, hold on! Protein is not the only factor. A healthy diet consisting of adequate calories, not just adequate protein, is of primary importance for developing muscle. Be sure to include other caloric sources such as small amounts of dairy products, and whole grains to enrich your body with the desired energy.
Suggestion #4: The Right Carbs Are Key
Carbohydrates are crucial for providing the desired power to your muscles. During workouts, your body needs a lot of carbohydrates, and the glycogen stored in your body acts as fuel to run your rigorous workouts sessions. So, your diet should be enriched with carbs which is more likely to be found in food like starchy veggies, potatoes, cereals, etc. Though junk foods like pizzas and sweetened items are rich in carbohydrate, their intake should be limited for a healthy diet.
Some other options that your health care provider might suggest include low-fat milk and fresh fruits. Stay away from high fibrous food immediately before and after your work out sessions (although they are good to include at other times of the day).
Suggestion #5: Fat Is Your Friend
If you think that fat is a strict "no-no" for your strong muscles, then you are wrong! A healthy diet essentially includes fat, and it is important to help you during your rigorous exercise sessions. It is also an important source for fueling with energy. Moreover, fat helps your body in decomposing certain vitamins.
About 25-30% of your total calories should consist of fat. To ensure that your overall health is not impacted while you’re strengthening your muscles, it is crucial to eat fat which doesn't impact your heart. You can find products like olive oil, walnuts, and almonds, and fishes like salmon that will provide your body with sufficient, healthful sources of fat.
Suggestion #6: Drink Plenty of Water
During exercise, you tend to perspire and exhaust a lot of your body's energy. Lack of fluid in your body can cause fatigue, dizziness and muscle cramps. Thus, the effectiveness of your sessions will be reduced, and at times you might not be in a condition to give your best performance.
Water is an important ingredient to keep your body hydrated. Drink sufficient water throughout the day and take regular sips of water in a gap of 20 minutes during your exercises.
Suggestion #7: Get Your Zzz's On
Along with proper diet and regular exercise, your body needs adequate rest. Without rest, your mind and body will become exhausted, and you will never be able to get the healthy, fit body that you desire. All your efforts will go in vain if you do not give your body a rest.
Your body, as previously mentioned, is like a machine, and for smooth functioning, we all turn off our machines for a certain span of time. We also need 7-9 hours of peaceful sleep without any intoxication. It rejuvenates us and gives the zeal to perform our exercises with renewed energy.
It is also important to take small breaks between your exercise sessions, and if you have a good gym instructor, he will surely encourage you to do it.
Always remember that good food and sufficient intake of fluid is very important for a healthy body. It is crucial to provide your body with the correct balance of fuel to ensure that you feel good and have the desired energy in your body which is required to give the best performance. Also, always remember that a healthy mind is the foundation of a healthy body. So, try to reduce stress in your life, and stay focused on your ultimate goal.
About the Author: Michael Morelli, Jr.
Michael Morelli, Jr. is a health and fitness enthusiast and is the founder of Morellifit. Mr. Morelli holds 5 fitness certifications, enjoys writing about training and nutrition and designing custom meal plans for his clients. You can learn more about Michael by visiting his website or following him on social media.