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As we age, it’s important not to underestimate the importance of our muscle health and strength. Having adequate muscle contributes to our fitness levels. As the body gains muscle mass, it loses fat and burns calories, as well as improves mental and physical strength. Let us get to know how to increase muscle mass naturally at home!
While a lot of people rely on steroids for building muscles these days, you should trust natural ways to gain muscle and increase bone density.
Dr Sai Krishna B Naidu, HOD – Trauma and Orthopaedics, Bone and Joint surgery Fortis Hospital, Richmond Road, Bengaluru, tells Health Shots, how once can get stronger muscles with a healthy lifestyle and routine.
Most of of the bone density is attained and reached by the age of 25 years. Once this is achieved, the muscle mass can be maintained by protein-rich foods such as egg, meat, peas almonds, soya bean and chickpeas etc. Eating right is definitely one of the most basic ways to build muscle. Try consuming these protein-rich foods.
Calcium and vitamins Mostly (vitamin D, vitamin K, calcium and vitamin C) are essential building blocks of muscle and bones. Calcium is the most essential building block of bones. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of calcium is about 1000 mg. Nutritional, calcium-rich food is important to replenish the daily bone loss as bone remodelling process happens everyday. This bone loss releases calcium back in the blood, and it is called ionised calcium. This form of calcium is essential for most of the muscles, including heart muscle.
Vitamin D is mainly produced in the body with adequate sunlight exposure. This, along with Vitamin K2, is shown to strengthen the bones. This vitamin helps in calcium absorption from the intestines as well. Lack of vitamin D causes poor bone density and strength.
Engaging in specific type of strengthening exercises have shown to increase muscle mass. Studies have shown by doing impact exercises in early age helps in strong bones as well as new bone formation in a much more organised way. Even in young diabetic children, the bone formation was evident by indulging in exercises.
In elderly, weight-bearing exercises have shown to reduce bone loss. Instead, it helps in good bone formation. Supplements, aided with exercise, prevents osteoporosis and osteopenia.
The ideal and advised calorie intake for normal daily requirement is about 1,500 calories per day. Low intake of below 1,000 calories will reduce the bone and muscle mass. Studies have shown that obese women who take low calories below 1000 calories have developed bone loss in hip and thigh region. This, in turn, can increase the risk of fracture in lower limbs.
A balanced diet approach with good protein intake are key to maintaining bone and muscle health.
Just say no to smoking and alcohol. Consuming alcohol in excess increases the risk of osteoporosis. Studies have shown a direct correlation with smoking and spine problems. Drinks which are high on sugar are equally harmful. Hydrate yourself with adequate water – an average of two litres a day.
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