HOW TO PREVENT BONE AND MUSCLE LOSS AS WE AGE.
‘From the moment we are born, we are aging’.
A pretty cool quote that always stuck with me, I heard this at a talk in UCD on the topic of nutrition and healthy aging. For me, it’s part of the logic structure for ‘looking after your physical body’ that I try to promote.
We are aging from the word go. While we do go through a period of development once we then reach adulthood it’s the equivalent of reaching the peak of the hill. Then we start to slowly trundle down the slope when it comes to certain functions in the body.
Muscle mass and bone density are two such functions.
There are almost always modifiable lifestyle factors to offset anything like this and the two I’ll mention here briefly are nutrition and physical activity.
With regard to aging and the body, bone density is first up. Check out the image below which was part of a module on health in my Masters in Food, Nutrition and Health with UCD.
You can see over time bone density reaches a peak in adults (around 30 years old) and after that it declines slowly over time. The drop in oestrogen during and after menopause negatively affects bone density so you can see a bigger decline on the female curve.
You probably know that women are more susceptible to osteoporosis later in life and this is a big part of why.
For both males and females, resistance training (bodyweight/weights) and adequate nutrition can help offset this decrease in bone density.
The second picture is from an article I put up a couple of years ago on protein intake and aging. It’s the same deal here except for muscle mass instead of bone – adequate nutrition and training helps offset muscle wastage (sarcopenia) over time which is caused by the aging process.
Training and the right nutrition can add to your health. It should add to your health, and this is just two of the many, many ways it can.