Why lean muscle mass matters

Staying Strong After 35

Why Lean Muscle Mass Matters

As we age, maintaining lean muscle mass becomes crucial, yet many people assume that strength training is reserved for the young or the athletic. However, building and sustaining muscle mass is key to a healthier, more active lifestyle, that’s why staying strong is key especially after 35.

What is Lean Muscle Mass?

Lean muscle mass refers to the amount of muscle on your body, excluding any fat. Muscle plays a vital role in our overall health, aiding in everything from metabolism to mobility. As we get older, our muscle mass naturally begins to decline, a condition known as sarcopenia. This loss can start as early as our thirties, making it important to take proactive steps to counteract it.

staying strong

Why We Need Lean Muscle Mass Staying Strong

Health Benefits:

  • Metabolism and Weight Management: Muscle burns more calories at rest compared to fat, which helps maintain energy balance and a healthy weight.
  • Chronic Disease Prevention: Increased muscle mass is linked to lowered risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis due to improved body composition and metabolic health.

Functional Benefits:

  • Enhanced Strength and Endurance: Strong muscles make daily activities such as carrying groceries, climbing stairs, or gardening easier and less tiring.
  • Improved Balance and Stability: This reduces the risk of falls, a major concern as bones become more brittle with age.

Psychological Benefits:

  • Mood and Self-Esteem: Regular exercise, including strength training, is known to boost mood and confidence.
  • Energy and Stress Management: Building muscle helps to elevate energy levels and enhances your ability to manage stress.

How to Build Lean Muscle Mass After 35


  • Protein is Key: Aim for at least 1.2 to 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. Excellent sources include lean meats, fish, dairy, and plant-based proteins like beans and lentils.
  • Balance Your Diet: Incorporate a mix of carbohydrates for energy and healthy fats for fuel and cell health.
  • Consider Supplements: Supplements like whey protein or branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) can be helpful, especially if dietary protein intake is insufficient.


  • Strength Training: Engage in weight-lifting or resistance training at least twice a week. Focus on major muscle groups and ensure proper form to avoid injuries.
  • Include Cardio: While strength training is key, cardio is also important for heart health and aids muscle recovery.
  • Flexibility and Balance: Incorporate yoga or tai chi to improve flexibility, balance, and overall physical function.

Lifestyle Adjustments:

  • Rest and Recovery: Muscles need time to repair and strengthen, so ensure you get enough sleep and rest days.
  • Manage Stress: Chronic stress can inhibit muscle growth, so practices like meditation or simple breathing exercises can be beneficial.
  • Regular Check-ups: Monitor your health and progress with regular medical check-ups.

With the right approach to nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle, you can significantly enhance your muscle health, which in turn improves your overall well-being. Start where you are, use what you have, and do what you can—it’s never too late to build a stronger, healthier you.


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