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Maintain Muscle Mass for Healthy Aging
Although muscle mass occurs as we age, studies show that adequate protein, being active and not smoking can help you to preserve and even build new muscle. It is estimated that after age 50, there is a one to two percent loss of muscle each year. This can lead to a decline in strength, balance and stamina. This muscle loss can also increase the risk of falls, while decreasing mobility and independence.
Protein needs are dependent on body weight, age and certain medical conditions.
Current guidelines for healthy adults is .36 grams of protein per pound. Some experts believe that a more optimal protein intake for healthy seniors is approximately 50% more, or .55 grams per pound.
If you weigh 150 pounds you need 82 grams of protein daily.
- Have protein throughout the day, every day and at every meal. It is an important part of preserving muscle.
- Vary protein to optimize leucine, an amino acid critical to building muscle. Leucine is highest in animal proteins including fish, poultry, lean meat, eggs and low-fat dairy products
- Plant based proteins are not as good a source of leucine. If you are vegetarian or eating a plant-based diet, soy plant protein is considered to contain the most leucine.
- Breakfast and snacks usually tend to be lower in protein. Try to include protein-rich foods such as Greek yogurt, egg or egg whites, string cheese and milk.
Be Active, Keep Moving
- Keep as active as you can. Try to engage in daily physical activity.
- Resistance & strength training play a key role in maintaining muscle mass.
Check with your physician, physical therapist or health professional to see what the best exercise for you is!
Not only does it take your breath away, smoking prevents oxygen from being delivered to your muscles. This will promote muscle loss and impair muscle function.
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