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Maintaining Muscle Mass while Ageing

Posted on Monday, March 4, 2019
Written by Live Life Get Active
Category: Nutrition

Tips for living your best and longest life.

One of the most important things we need to do as we age is maintain our muscle mass. Having enough muscle can reduce the risk of some diseases like diabetes and heart disease. They also improve strength, balance and mobility, which reduces risk of falls and fractures. Falls and fractures contribute to the most common cause of hospital admission for the elderly in Australia, and a lot of these people never regain their independence!

Unfortunately, with all the fun things that come along with ageing, loss of muscle mass is one of them. After the age of 40, you naturally lose 1% of your muscle mass per year.

Benefits of maining muscle mass

With regular exercise and the right nutrition, you can easily maintain enough muscle mass, which will mean your quality of life will be higher and risk of certain diseases lower. This will also reduce risk of the depression that can accompany illness, hospitalisation and loss of independence. So, let’s see how you can maintain your muscle mass to help you live a happier and longer life!

Regular exercise

Resistance exercise like our cross-training classes, and body weight-bearing activities like our yoga classes are perfect for building and strengthening your muscles.

Eating enough protein

Exercise needs to be accompanied with eating the right foods. Protein is an essential requirement for building muscles mass. Men should be having 0.84g per Kg of their body weight and women, 0.75g per Kg of bodyweight, per day. See the table below as an example of how much protein men and women need per day based on your body weight.

Now you’re probably thinking, so how do I know how much protein I am eating? See the next table below as an example of how much protein are in some of the healthy foods you should be eating regularly! 

Check out this week’s recipe full of beans, a vegetarian source of protein, to help build and maintain those muscles!

 

Serves: 4 Time: 25 mins  Cost: $12 approx. ($3 per serve)

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of microwave brown rice (or 2 cups cooked brown rice)
  • 2 cans beans (we used kidney and black beans)
  • 1 can diced tomato
  • ½ red onion
  • 1 cup frozen corn, defrosted
  • 1 red capsicum
  • 1 large zucchini (or 2 small)
  • ½ tsp chilli powder (we used Mexican chilli powder)
  • 1 TBSP paprika
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed (3 tsp crushed garlic)
  • extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper

Serve with any of these options:

  • fresh lime
  • coriander
  • smashed avocado
  • low fat cheese
  • low fat sour cream

 Method

  1. Prepare rice as per packet instructions, put aside
  2. Dice onion, capsicum and courgette
  3. Heat olive oil in pan on medium heat, add onion, saute for 1 min
  4. Add capsicum, zucchini and garlic, cook for 8 mins
  5. Add paprika and chilli, cook for 1 min
  6. Stir through canned tomatoes and rice, cook further 5 mins,
  7. Stir through beans and corn, cook further 2 mins
  8. Season with salt & pepper
  9. Serve with your chosen options – we used fresh lime, coriander and smashed avocado!

Sources:

https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/protein

https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/injury/descriptive-epidemiology-traumatic-fractures/formats

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16779921

https://www.fasebj.org/doi/abs/10.1096/fj.04-2640fje

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20962913

Live Life Get Active is building a fitter, healthier and happier Australia and we want people to have fun along the way. With the help of Local Government and Corporate Australia we provide FREE health, fitness and nutritional education both online and in the parks, suburbs and cities of Australia.