Life Begins At...

The Retiree Magazine Summer 2011-12

Life Begins At.....

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Page 108 of 171

BANNER BANNER STRENGTH TRAINING THE KEY FOR HEALTHY AGING MUSCLES & BONES – we cannot make these ourselves. Essential amino acids participate in many processes throughout the body, and several appear to have a particularly important role in muscle growth and repair. As we get older, the amount of amino acids (as dietary protein) we require may increase because muscle becomes less effi cient at utilising what we eat. Vitamin D Vitamin D is often associated with the health of your bones but it's also an important nutrient in the function of muscles. Even in sunny Australia, we can be at risk of defi ciency, so it's important to make sure you get enough vitamin D either through safe sun exposure, diet or dietary supplementation. Calcium Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. It plays an important role in healthy muscle, as well as building and maintaining bones and teeth. Omega-3 fatty acids These fatty acids are an important component of a healthy diet and are best known for their benefi ts in maintaining good health. Omega-3 fatty acids may have a positive effect on body composition. Research has suggested that there's a benefi cial effect of omega-3 supplementation on muscle protein synthesis in the elderly. There may also be a signifi cant positive relationship between fatty fi sh (e.g. sardines) consumption and muscle function for those over 59. Magnesium Although magnesium isn't traditionally associated with muscles, it may be particularly important as we age. If our blood is low in magnesium, it takes extra from the muscles, and without enough magnesium in muscles they stiffen up or contract. The result may be painful cramps, irritability, twitching or even tremors. Some people may develop muscle cramps at rest, while others develop them at night, along with a diffi culty sleeping. Magnesium helps all muscles in the body to function optimally. Other key nutrients A healthy diet will provide most of the nutrients required to keep the body in a healthy condition. Several of these nutrients appear to play an important role in maintaining the health of the muscle. How much protein is enough? We suggest you aim for 1 gram of protein per 1 kilogram of body weight (or your ideal body weight) per day. For example, if you weight 65 kg you should aim for a minimum of 65 g of high quality protein each day. You should try and split this protein intake evenly over three meals. John Felton from The Exercise Clinic says "Resistance training has benefi ts for muscle and bone health. It's especially important as we age and vital in the prevention and rehabilitation of conditions such as osteoporosis and muscle wastage." How to get started John's top 5 tips are: • See your GP or an exercise physiologist before you start. • Start slowly, then build up intensity. • Listen to your body – you shouldn't feel pain. • Keep movements slow and controlled – technique is king. • Concentrate on exercises using large muscle groups Contact The Exercise Clinic for help commencing your strength training program. We are a tertiary qualifi ed and caring team of specialists who will assess you and provide an individually tailored, safe and effective program. Level 2, 511 Pacifi c Highway, Crow's Nest. Ph: (02) 9439 9773 THE RETIREE SUMMER 103

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