MUSCLE health and muscle strength are crucial aspects of daily life and by age 40, adults start to lose up to eight per cent of muscle mass every decade. The figure doubles to 15 per cent by age 70.
Muscles do not just provide the strength for us to walk and do everyday tasks but play a crucial role in ensuring the immune system is kept strong.
Abbott's medical affairs director (nutrition business, Malaysia) Dr Nina Mazera Mohd Said says muscles comprise about 50 per cent of our body weight.
"They not only play a role in terms of strength and movement but also have a metabolic function that supports overall health."
Speaking at a webinar organised by Abbott, she explains that one of the common symptoms of loss of muscle mass is the loss of strength. That's the reason why elderly people are not as active.
Dr Nina says one of the commonest symptoms of loss of muscle mass is the loss of strength.
Dr Nina says it's important to think of ways to start reducing muscle loss and this includes consuming a balanced diet so that the body gets all the nutrients it needs to support muscle health. Exercise is also important.
"Even in older people, if they exercise regularly, especially if they do resistance exercises, they can improve muscle mass and therefore strength."
Medical doctor, model and fitness enthusiast Dr Say Shazril says like many others, he too started to notice a difference in his parents as they age.
His parents, who are both 66, started experiencing fatigue and a general slowing down when they hit 60.
As a doctor, he knew their condition was related to muscle loss so he took steps to ensure they had good nutrition as well as necessary supplementation to add to their diet and proper exercise.
His dad, who used to go for brisk walks, is able to jog regularly now.
Dr Say encourages both his parents to remain as active as they can.
Fatigue has decreased tremendously for them, he says.
"I see an improvement in their ability to handle daily chores and life is generally better for them and they can enjoy spending time with their grandchildren."
Dr Say says his parents started having trouble with their normal routine and daily chores due to muscle loss.
Originally published by Meera Murugesan on October 15, 2020