be a champion of strength
Our parents were once like us – young, fit and able-bodied. Now in their golden years, many feel their bodies are beginning to slow down and can barely keep up. As a result, they have stopped pursuing the activities they once loved to do, especially if they require significant strength and stamina. Instead, they increasingly opt to stay indoors, living a sedentary lifestyle.
Have you begun to notice the changes in your parent’s physical strength too? Perhaps you’ve observed that daily tasks they used to do with ease have become a little harder for them to complete, and you can’t help but worry for their well-being.
Some signs of loss of strength in our parents:
- They tire easily when playing with their grandchildren
- Going out to locations that aren’t as accessible or require stamina (e.g. Sentosa, Botanical Gardens) becomes an elaborate affair, involving great thought and consideration, which often results in the decision to stay home
- Climbing the usual flight of stairs have become more strenuous than ever before
- They frequently complain about their bodily aches and pains
Muscle loss is a real problem. Our bodies start breaking down more muscle as we age – our muscle fibers shrink and muscle tissue is replaced more slowly. Studies show that between 40 and 70 years of age, we lose up to 8% of muscle mass every decade. Worryingly, this rate doubles to 15% from the age of 70. Beyond strength, muscle health affects our movement, balance and posture, metabolism, as well as control how tired or energized we feel. It can even impact our emotional health when the loss in strength and mobility translates to a loss in independence.
The good news is, the process can be slowed down, and even reversed, with an active lifestyle and nutrient-rich diet. Regular exercise and physical activity can improve muscle function, while the right nutrition helps with muscle preservation and growth.
are you a strength champion?
As the saying goes, knowledge is power. The first step to helping your parents live life to the fullest in their golden years is to be aware of the signs of muscle loss and obstacles to strength. Test your knowledge using the strength champion checklist, a quick two minute quiz that assesses your readiness to take muscle loss in your parents head on.