One of the most common misconceptions of aging is that it’s not possible to get fitter and gain muscle after 50. While the process might look a bit different than when you were 25, you can still get in the best shape of your life and achieve your fitness goals.
One of the best ways to gain and retain muscle is to eat a high protein diet. The recommended daily intake of protein for women over age 50 is 46 grams. So, if your goal is to build lean muscle, you need to aim to eat more protein than other food groups. The easiest way to do this is to reduce simple carbs to the lowest level you can and increase protein and complex carbs while staying within a healthy calorie allowance (2000 calories for women). High protein foods include, almonds and pistachios, chicken, oats, Greek yogurt, broccoli, lean beef, soybeans and lentils.
Another way to build lean muscle is to engage in strength training exercises. The benefit of strength exercises is that they have the power to boost bone density, burn calories, enhance memory, and even prevent conditions like osteoporosis. Muscle growth occurs when you continually use your muscles. However, the growth process involves tiny stresses in your individual muscle fibres, which means it is important to perform these exercises safely to prevent the risk of injury. Your body will then use the protein to repair the small tears in your muscles, and over time will cause muscle growth. It is important to note that recovery time after workouts increases as we grow older, and so does the potential for injury.
If you’re unsure of where to start fitness apps like Freeletics offer training journeys such as the ‘Fit for Life’ Training Journey which is designed for people of any age, to master the basics of fitness, build strength and endurance for lifelong health and make you feel younger and more active. The journey begins with low-intensity exercises and adapts your plan each week depending on your progress.
David Wiener is a Training Specialist at Freeletics, the #1 fitness app in Europe offering personalised AI fitness coaching which continuously adapts to your feedback and situation to always deliver the perfect workout, no matter what.