This for you, ladies! I am so very passionate about this. There are so many studies that have shown that, as women, we need weight bearing exercise and protein to support a long, healthy and active life. I am about to lay down some education.
Loss of muscle mass begins to substantially decline at the age of fifty in both sexes. Yay us! (sarcasm) This puts us at greater risk of osteoporosis, osteopenia, and sarcopenia. I am sure you all have heard of at least one of these before. These are diseases that effect our bones and muscles usually as we age due to inactivity and poor or inadequate diet. These diseases happen in both men and woman but present themselves greater in women because, physiologically we just start out with lower muscle mass. Also, age related skeletal muscle mass and strength loss accelerates during menopause. Deterioration in muscle and bone health is majorly caused by an in adequate protein intake and lack of physical activity. I am sure you can all see where I am going with all of this.
Lets start with protein. There are more and more studies coming out stating that postmenopausal women need a greater amount of protein in their diets to help combat the diseases that can come with aging and our changing hormone profile, especially if we are not taking hormone replacement. For some reason, it is really hard for women to hit protein goals, actually, most people do not hit their protein goals and it is so important that we do. Protein supplies the building blocks to help keep and build muscle. Keeping our muscle and actually, trying to keep building muscle is where the anti aging game is. people who can maintain or build muscle as we age are the ones who don't fall and break a hip, they are more stable on their feet and are just more active overall. They are more capable of performing everyday tasks and better able to take care of themselves. I am sure this is something we all want.
Now with that being said, how much protein do we need. I have been reading through some studies and it does very just a little bit. you should be getting anywhere between .8 and 1. grams of protein per kg of bodyweight unless overweight. In that case its the same amount just calculate for a healthy bodyweight. Now I am nor going to tell you which sources of protein to use because we are all different and like different things. I love meat so I eat meat and eggs. I also supplement with protein drinks if I am falling behind for the day. I will tell you that nuts and nut butters are not protein sources! They have a bit of protein but they really are fat sources. That being said they are delicious and I love them, I just don't rely on them for protein. Also adequate protein intake is associated with better performance among post menopausal women aged 60 to 90 years.
Now lets talk about weight bearing exercises. You guys are all killing it in the classes! The one thing we need to do is trust ourselves to lift heavy. Heavy is such an abstract word when we talk about lifting. It is different for all of us. What I do know is we all have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. The ability to be able to push a little bit more comes from inside of us. Sometimes we let our fear hold us back from what we are truly capable of. So I have a bit of a challenge for all of you. Next week during our class try a heavier weight for any exercise that we do. Just pick one exercise. See how that feels. By doing this, it will raise your self confidence to try and lift more on more exercises. Self confidence begets self confidence.
So there is my TED talk. Its so important that we put these two pieces of the puzzle together to get the best results for ourselves. We all want long, happy active and productive lives and only we can do that for ourselves.