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Staying Stronger For Longer - And Why It Is So Important..

19.10.2016

We all know that as we age, our muscles lose their strength, mass and definition. What many people don’t know is the age at which this begins to accelerate, how to prevent it from happening, and the health risks you will shoulder if you don’t act to prevent it.

Research has shown that from the age of 40, you will lose on average 0.5-1% of your muscle mass every year. Muscle strength is even more dramatic, with an average 1.5% decrease every 12 months. This loss will leave you at greater risk of falls, fractures and injuries. The process of muscle wastage is called Sarcopenia.

Muscle mass plays a critical role in metabolic health, body weight control, bone strength, and resilience to stress and disease – and it looks good!

Research has shown a strong correlation between the relationship between Sarcopenia and diabetes with the study showing that the less muscle you have, the more likely you are to develop insulin resistance and therefore become diabetic. 

There are a number of triggers that will speed up the natural process of muscle loss, those being:

  • Changes in hormones as you age
  • Inactivity
  • Inadequate protein intake
  • Inflammation

Building muscle mass and maintaining muscle strength has a number of straightforward solutions that will not only put the brakes on the natural process of muscle loss, but step on the reverse pedal!

 

Exercise

Regular exercise is key to maintaining healthy muscle mass and strength. Research has shown that not only will it decrease the speed of muscle loss, but it will restore muscle strength as well. One study in particular noted that exercising 3 time per week for just 3 months increased leg strength by 27%!

 

Food

Protein

Protein enables your muscles to repair and therefore grow so it is vital that we consume an adequate amount. But likewise, if we consume excessive amounts of protein, then the body will begin to store it simply as fat. To give you an idea of your recommended amount, you should be having approximately 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. This would mean that a 60kg woman needs 48g of protein each day.

Excellent sources of lean protein include: Chicken, turkey, eggs, pulses, beans, fish, Greek yoghurt, tofu, nuts and seeds. 

 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

As we age, our muscles become less efficient. This means it will take them longer to grow and repair. Incorporating omega-3 fatty acids into your diet will help build up the resilience of your muscles, enabling them to act more similarly to young ones.

Great sources of omega-3 fatty acids include: Wild salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, walnuts, chia seeds, fresh tuna, linseeds, anchovies and egg yolks. 

 

Leucine

Leucine is an amino acid that the human body is unable to produce itself, and we therefore need to consume it. It is also the only amino acids believed to be linked to muscle tissue and production.

Good sources of leucine include: Turkey, tuna, egg whites, cottage cheese, avocado, pork, nuts and seeds and soy beans. 

 

For more about healthy eating please click on the boxes below.   

Are you thinking about adding something to your health and wellbeing programme? Contact us here for more information.



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