It is important to know the role of muscles in our life and the ways to improve the health of muscles.
By Dr Nandan Joshi
Muscles have been considered as the purview of bodybuilders as the word often conjures up images of bodybuilders flexing muscles. Ordinary people are caught unaware of the importance of muscle health and its impact on overall life. A study by Inbody and IPSOS last year revealed that of the 71% of Indian people who were studied had poor muscle health. It is important to know the role of muscles in our life and the ways to improve the health of muscles.
Here are some essential muscle health facts to know:
- Your body’s ability to move, lift things and do day-to-day activities is squarely dependent on its muscle mass and strength.
- Our body has myriad number of muscles and they help you facilitate daily movements like walking, running, lifting objects, and much more.
- The amount of muscle mass and fat mass in the body determines the metabolic health of an individual.
Remember, muscle health determines your body’s ability to function normally. Most of the people grapple with muscle fatigue daily. It is caused by a sedentary lifestyle that includes lack of exercise, inadequate nutrition, ageing, and muscle injury.
Muscle health can be affected by long-term conditions such as diabetes or heart disease.
A confluence of factors like stroke, multiple sclerosis, depression, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome can quicken the
the onset of muscle fatigue or exacerbate muscle health.
Protein helps maintain muscle health
Muscles are made up of protein. A perfect illustration to prove the point is that just like your bones need vitamin D and calcium for maintenance, your muscles need regular exercise and protein adequate diet to remain healthy. Our body needs around 2000-2500 calories and 10 to 35 per cent of your daily calories should be in the form of Protein. Protein is important for good muscle health as it is important for the maintenance of muscle mass.
However, not all proteins are of the same quality. Proteins are classified basis the type of amino acids present in it. Complete proteins contain all essential amino acids in desired quantities while some of the amino acids are missing in incomplete proteins.
The nutritional intervention for healthy muscles includes a diet which is rich in protein.
Some of the protein-rich foods are:
Summing up, keep the following tips in mind for improving your muscle health:
- Consume an adequate amount of protein (1gm/1kg of body weight).
- Include quality protein in the diet like protein drinks, eggs, fish, chicken and soya.
- Engage in regular exercise like walking, running or swimming 3-4 times a week.
- To compensate for the protein requirement, one can have protein supplements which are available in different formats and can be consumed easily.
- Drink plenty of water. Water is important for muscle health. It provides essential electrolytes that are necessary for muscle function.
(Dr Nandan Joshi is Head, Nutrition Science & Medical Affairs, Danone India. Views expressed are the author’s own.)