Proper sleep, balanced diet, and strengthening exercises can boost endurance and ensure independence.

Muscle building isn’t just for those who are into fitness as a pastime. Muscle power is crucial for good health, especially as we age. Muscle strength is important to help reduce injuries, most notably falls.

Strong muscles are essential to strengthen bones, control blood sugar, improve cholesterol levels, maintain a healthy weight, decrease pain, and fight mild depression. Those things can help you maintain your independence.

Unfortunately with muscles, there’s a use-it-or-lose-it effect. Inactivity causes a loss of muscle protein, causing a decrease in muscular strength. Without strength and resistance training, the rate of muscle mass decrease is much greater.

If your doctor says it’s okay, start a strength training program to supplement moderate-intensity exercise that gets your heart going. Aim for two to three sessions a week. Consider these five tips to achieve the best results.

Utilize A Pro

A certified personal trainer or a physical therapist can design a program tailored for your own needs and abilities. That way you’re going to get the results you want without risking muscle strains and ligament tears.

Ask your doctor to prescribe physical therapy if you’re recovering from injury or struggling with a chronic health issue. If you’re in good health, seek out supervised programs, such as those offered at senior centers, the YMCA, or a private health club.

Use Weights and Bands

You will likely use weights to build muscle–dumbbells and weight machines–but don’t forget resistance bands. These bands–which resemble large flat or tubular rubber bands–provide resistance while you’re in a variety of positions, as compared to the limited amount
Of moves you perform with free weights or weight machines.

Weights and bands provide resistance to your muscles, which arouses physical change in the tissue that allows your muscles to generate more force.

Get More Sleep

If you strengthen your muscles, then they want 48 hours to re-knit. You have to avoid strength exercises about the same muscles on consecutive days. But sleep is another key to muscle recovery. Sleep is critical to allow for proper healing of the tissues once we stress them.

Adults should aim for seven to eight hours per night. That will give your body time to repair muscle tissue and replenish your muscle’s energy stores. Without sufficient sleep, the muscles may continue to break down without repainting.

Watch Your Diet

A healthy diet is necessary to provide your muscles the building blocks to become more powerful. That means you need a combination of protein sources, grain-based carbohydrates, and fruits and vegetables. You may want to utilize a dietitian to think of a baseline of what your body needs to build muscle and maintain energy up.

A typical range is 130 grams (g) per day of carbohydrates for both men and women, including nine servings (four and a half cups) per day of fruits and vegetables; and 56 gram of protein every day for men, 46 gram of protein per day for girls.

Use Daily Activities

You don’t have to limit muscle building. Take advantage of daily activities to challenge your muscles.

This may mean that you lift that carton of milk a few times before you set it back in the refrigerator, to construct your arm muscles; use the stairs when you can, to build the muscles in your legs, hips, buttocks, and abdomen; and get active while talking on the phone or standing in line by doing leg lifts and heel raises, to strengthen the muscles in your legs and buttocks.