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Muscle-building is a walk in the park or wherever you want to go

May 24, 2022 at 10:00 p.m.

In the 1975 movie "Pumping Iron," Arnold Schwarzenegger declared, "Milk is for babies." Although he actually did use dairy in his regimen when he was young (he is, by his own reckoning, 80% vegan now), he was right on, according to a study in the Journal of Nutrition.

When researchers looked at the muscle-building benefits of whole milk versus skim milk (7.6 grams protein vs. 7 grams protein in 8 ounces, respectively) for women around age 69, they found that neither helped increase protein synthesis in muscles. But, lo and behold, they stumbled upon evidence that walking did.

They started with the assumption that drinking milk twice a day would boost muscle protein synthesis and beef up muscle strength that tends to fade with age. They ended up admitting that whole and skim don't help protect or build muscle. By contrast, they found that when participants' daily walking habit was increased by 150%, that revved up protein synthesis in muscles and conveyed strength-building benefits.

So if you're now getting (a measly) 2,500 steps most days, going up to around 6,200 daily will help fight age-related (and sedentary-related) loss of muscle. When that becomes your daily bottom line, boosting that another 150% will get you up over 9,000 steps. Plus, for max muscle-strength protection, do strength training two to three times weekly. I favor exercises using your own body weight, like squats, planks and jumping jacks. Then, no matter how weak you may have been when you started your new walking/training routine, you'll be able to declare, "I'll be back!"

Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow."

King Features Syndicate

Print Headline: Muscle-building is a walk in the park or wherever you want to go

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