Many people say that you are in your prime in your 20’s and 30’s and when it comes to muscular strength, this completely true. We reach our peak values for muscular strength around the ages of 22-25. This peak can be maintained with good diet and training until about 45-50 years of age. It is around this time, that no matter how hard you train or workout, your body changes. As you age, you may find you are not as strong as you were before and that does not mean you have to start bench pressing weight or going hard in the gym. It is important to know that a decline in strength is normal and happens to all of us.
From ages 60-80, studies have found that the average person loses around 15% of their strength per decade. From 80 years of age on, this number doubles to a loss in strength of 30% per decade. One main contributing factor to the loss of strength is a loss in muscle mass. Muscle is the piece that generates the force to have strength and be strong. If a person loses an average of 25% muscle mass by the age of 70, then that is a large amount of muscle we no longer have. If we do not have as much muscle, then not as much force can be exerted and therefore, our overall strength declines.
Although the loss of muscle mass and strength is inevitable, there are things that one can do to keep the amount lost minimal. Getting an adequate amount of protein is important, for protein helps to repair muscles and keep them strong. It is recommended that adults consume .8g of protein/kg of body weight per day. For adults 65 and older, 1 gram of protein/kg of body weight should be consumed per day. Resistance training is also beneficial because it helps muscles fibers to grow, producing strength in the muscle. Not only that, but it is highly important for good bone health and strength. Resistance bands, dumbbell exercises and push-ups are all great resistance workouts.
If one keeps active and eats a balanced diet, their decline in strength with be less overtime. It is important to lead a healthy lifestyle and to always listen to your body.