Ways to strengthen your joints and muscles for better mobility and balance

Dr Tomohiro Rogi (PhD), a product researcher at Suntory Wellness Research Centre, explains why it is important to boost your muscle and joint health as you age

With the right diet and lifestyle choices, everyday activities can be a walk in the park. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Climbing the stairs, taking a walk and maintaining balance are common activities that most people take for granted. That is, until these activities become increasingly difficult and force you to become more aware of how you move – and feel.

The causes could be the wear and tear of joint cartilage, as well as the loss of muscle mass, all part of the natural aging process. 

Product researcher at Suntory Wellness Research Centre, Dr Tomohiro Rogi (PhD), shares tips on how you can support your muscle and joint health so you can continue to live life to the fullest.

Q: Why is it important to take care of your muscle and joint health as you grow older? 

On average, muscle mass decreases by 40 per cent from the age of 20 to 80. With weakened muscles, the loss of personal independence is accelerated and simple tasks may become arduous. In addition, research shows that sarcopenia (a type of age-related muscle loss) negatively affects balance and increases risk of falls among seniors.  Older people with moderate to severe sarcopenia also run a higher risk of disability compared to those with normal muscle mass. 

Structural cartilage components such as glucosamine and chondroitin decrease with age too. In Singapore, osteoarthritis affects 10 per cent of the adult population, especially women aged 50 years and above.

Q: What can seniors do to build muscle mass?

Simple activities such as brisk walking can help build slow-twitch muscle fibres. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

They can do endurance exercises like brisk walking, running, biking and stair climbing to build slow-twitch muscle fibres. Resistance exercises with weights or workout bands are also suitable. Movements like squats, lunges and push-ups engage the joints while working larger muscle groups, thus strengthening the muscles that surround the joints.

Q: Why is protein important for seniors and what are some suitable protein-rich foods for them?

As you age, your body needs roughly 50 per cent more protein than a younger adult to preserve muscle mass and strength. If you are aged 18 to 49 years, the amount of protein per kilogramme of body weight is about 0.8g. If you are older, it is about 1.2g.

Protein-rich food like tofu can help preserve muscle mass. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Plant-based proteins include cooked pulses (such as peas, beans and lentils), tempeh, tofu and edamame. Animal-based proteins include eggs, cow’s milk, meat, fish, poultry and cheese.

Q: How can a dietary supplement help?

Suntory Locomore, a muscle and joint health supplement newly imported by Brand’s to Singapore, is a top glucosamine brand in Japan and has sold over 10 million bottles since its launch in 2013. Each mini tablet contains anserine, quercetin plus and vitamin D to promote muscle health, and glucosamine, chondroitin, type II collagen and proteoglycan to promote joint health. One bottle has 180 tablets. A daily dosage of six tablets at any time is recommended for best results.

You may want to consider adding a dietary supplement to help with muscle and joint health. PHOTO: BRAND’S SUNTORY

A study on participants who had experienced a decline in their usual pace showed possible walking speed improvement in 16 weeks. In addition, reduced joint discomfort may also be felt in eight weeks, based on a study that measured the pain and physical function of participants with knee discomfort.

Enjoy 15 per cent off your first bottle of Suntory Locomore or 30 per cent off your first two bottles, inclusive of free shipping. Shop here now or call 1800 732 2222 to place an order today.

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