Keeping muscles toned as you age can be a challenge. Stiffness can set in, and flexibility is lost. Bending over is harder than it used to be and carrying heavy things has to be done carefully. Exercising becomes more of a challenge, too. But here’s the catch — the more you keep your muscles in shape, the longer you’ll reap the benefits. It might feel like everything is stiff and sore, but stop using your muscles and everything suddenly gets a whole lot worse.
So you’ll want to keep your muscles toned as much as possible. This is not always easy do when you have health issues to deal with or find it difficult to schedule physical activity into your daily routine. Some forms of exercise may be better suited to you. If you have knee problems, swimming might be the way to go, for example.
Now, what about diet? Does it have a role to play in all of this? Absolutely, according to researchers at the Department of Medicine, University of Utah. It seems that antioxidants could actually help boost arterial function and make older muscles feel like young muscles during exercise.
This latest health news comes courtesy of a study performed on 28 participants. Twelve participants were given an “antioxidant cocktail,” while another eight young and eight older subjects performed exercise with placebo or while taking the antioxidants. The researchers found that, in the older subjects, the antioxidant cocktail restored blood vessel dilation to match that of the young.
Muscle strength is one of the obvious signs of aging in the body. Muscle strength usually starts declining when you reach your 40s, but can drop dramatically after age 60. This loss of muscle can become a major risk factor for becoming frail and disabled.
So boost your nutritional health with lots of vitamin-C and vitamin-E foods — both powerful antioxidants. Here’s a quick list to get you started: