As we age, it becomes even more important that we focus on building muscle. Maintaining muscle not only improves our body composition, but has an impact on our metabolism. Loss of muscle can lead to lower bone density and increased risk of injury.
If you're looking to build muscle, there are three things you need to focus on: protein, sleep and recovery, and progressive overload.
Let's start with the most important factors of all:
Protein is essential for building new muscle tissue - it's the building block of your muscles. Eating enough protein daily helps ensure your body has what it needs to repair the muscle fibers broken down during exercise. Aim for at least .8-1.5g of protein per pound of your lean goal body weight, and make sure to get enough from natural sources like lean meats, fish, eggs, and legumes. You can also supplement with protein powder and collage protein. Along with adequate protein, we must fuel our bodies by eating enough calories. This includes a moderate amount of carbohydrates.
To build muscle, you must ensure that your body gets enough rest and recuperation between workouts. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night, and take days off when needed. If you're feeling tired or rundown, give yourself an extra day to recover before hitting the gym again. Our muscles need recovery to give them the opportunity to repair and grow.
This means you must slowly increase the weight or resistance you lift over time. When your body has adapted to the current load, it needs more stimulation for your muscles to grow and strengthen. Start slow with manageable weights and gradually increase the intensity as you progress.
Practice these three steps, be patient and consistent to see results.
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