Muscle mass needs attention as you age
Ask Dr Libby
Email your questions for Dr Libby to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note, only a selection of questions can be answered. morning and then you do your high-intensity exercise for 40 minutes. What do the other 15 hours of your day look like? If you spend most of your day stressed or in a rush, the intense exercise will just be an extra 40 minutes that you are in what I like to call the ‘‘red zone’’ (sympathetic nervous system dominance).
If this is the case for you, then I would encourage focusing on gentler movement such as yoga, tai chi or walking. If this doesn’t ring true for you, and you feel energised and uplifted at the end of your high-intensity exercise and you love doing it, that’s great – keep going with it. Interval training is a better choice for maintaining muscle mass and using body fat than a straight out high-intensity workout.
To help guide movement habits, I encourage people to think about what they want from it – you want to have a functional body that allows you to move through your day with ease, you want to have the strength to carry your groceries and your children (or grandchildren), you want to have the flexibility to bend down and tie your shoelaces, and you want to feel uplifted, not depleted.
Do some resistance training as you age to maintain or build muscle mass.