While there’s no magic formula that guarantees healthy aging, there are a few foundational measures worth keeping in your knowledge arsenal—wellness-supporting habits (minding your nutrition, starting a movement practice, embracing the power of community), that help provide the body with the support it needs to lead a life well-lived, whatever that may look like for you.
To put it simply, aging is a process that affects appearance and physical abilities. It kind of goes without saying, but as we get older, our bodies change—in both small aspects (hello, smile lines) and in more consequential ways, too. Science reveals that optimum muscle mass and strength peak in early adulthood and subsequently decline with age, and that for individuals ages 50 and over, muscle mass decreases at an average rate of 1-2% per year, with strength decreasing at an average rate of 1.5-3% per year.* (1, 2, 3)
While there are several genetic and environmental factors that may influence this process, it should be noted that environmental influences—such as physical activity and nutrition (i.e. calcium intake)—are thought to hold more sway than genetic elements. Translation: For older adults, it’s never too late to start adopting healthy habits—which brings us to the importance of consuming enough protein.* (3)
Keep scrolling to explore why dietary protein plays such a crucial role in supporting healthy, active aging—along with some simple suggestions for upping intake.