You’ve got over 650 skeletal muscles in your body, muscles that work with your brain and bones to create motion. Though you may not think about which muscles you use when you walk, stand, sit, or perform any activity, these are largely voluntary muscles — they don’t work unless you decide to do something.
You may give more thought to caring for muscles through exercise and sports participation. This creates a positive feedback loop because caring for your muscles also returns the favor to the rest of your body.
Despite your best efforts, sometimes things break down and pain results. As a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist, Dr. Franz Jones works with you to overcome injury and get back to living. You can avoid excessive downtime by developing healthy habits that support your muscles.
The importance of muscle mass
Building or maintaining muscle before age 30 is a simple process where the effort you expend provides a reasonable reward. As you get older, maintaining muscle health takes more work because natural forces, for women and men, start to rob you of muscle mass.
Less muscle means less support for your body. For instance, loads previously shared between muscle and bones now rest more on your skeleton and soft tissue. This can lead to premature joint deterioration and pain. Higher muscle mass reduces mortality and lowers your risk of diabetes.
Healthy living, healthy muscles
Add the following muscle-friendly habits to your lifestyle to gain these benefits.
Sitting still is the enemy of muscle. Adding modest activity such as walking or swimming for 30 minutes a day, five times a week over and above any exercise or activity you already get provides you with a foundation upon which to build your healthy muscle habits.
Adding resistance exercises, using weights or resistance bands, adds dedicated muscle building to your routine. Cardio activities are crucial for your overall help, but they may not be enough to maintain muscle mass. Weight bearing exercise is also essential for bone health.
There’s no getting away from a healthy diet, and when you realize the benefits, you’ll be on board. Lean proteins provide the amino acid building blocks to both grow and repair muscle tissue. Look to poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, legumes, and low-fat dairy for the best sources.
Add anti-inflammatory foods in the form of leafy greens, berries, olives, and olive oil to avoid muscle-depleting chronic inflammation. Cutting refined sugars, trans fats and processed grains also helps you maintain muscle mass.
Alcohol and tobacco
Reducing alcohol consumption and stopping tobacco use provide a range of benefits across the personal health spectrum. Alcohol can produce an inflammatory response as well as contributing to dehydration. It can also block the absorption of nutrients in your digestive system. Nicotine interferes with blood flow, the body’s delivery system for muscle nourishment and repair.
There’s no secret or magic answer to healthy muscles, though living and performing well takes some self-discipline. Dr. Jones is a sports medicine specialist, but you don’t need to be a world-class athlete to benefit from his care. When problems occur, his regenerative medicine services help you get back to living your best life.
For instance, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy can help you recover quickly from muscle tears and other soft tissue injuries by supplementing the building blocks of healing directly where needed. It’s a powerful treatment widely used by top athletes in a variety of sports, and Dr. Jones makes it available to you.
Find out more about how you can up your muscle care game. Contact Franz Jones, DO, by phone or online. We have convenient offices in Pembroke Pines, Plantation, and Weston, Florida. The time you invest now pays dividends for years, so schedule your consultation today.