September is Healthy Aging Month, and I was on CHCH Morning Live discussing health tips for successful aging. Here is a little recap of some of the key points – ICYMI:
Focus on the Positive Aspects of Getting Older
So what are some ways we can age healthier?
Eat enough Protein
How to Prevent Sarcopenia?
Eat enough high quality protein. The target amount should be 25-30g of protein per meal. Most people get this during dinnertime, maybe at lunch. But most people do not meet this requirement during breakfast.
Breakfast: 2 eggs, 2 slices toast, 1 whole apple, 1 cup 1% milk.
This meets the requirement:
2 Eggs: 12 g
2 Slices Toast: 6 g
Milk: 9 g
12 + 6 + 9 = 27 g protein
Lunch/Dinner: 75 g baked chicken breast on ½ cup quinoa with 1-cup broccoli
This meets the requirement:
75 g Chicken: 21 g
½ cup Quinoa: 4.5 g
21 + 4.5 g = 25.5 g protein
High quality protein contains all the essential amino acids, calcium, iron and vitamins and minerals.
You can add it to rice beverage (typically low in protein), oatmeal, pasta sauce and of course, a smoothie. It’s an easy and more convenient way to consume protein if you don’t have time to cook or prepare protein foods.
Get Moving and Build Strength
There is evidence that aerobic exercise, such as cardio machines, spinning, running, swimming, walking, hiking, aerobics classes, dancing, cross country skiing, and skipping rope can help reduce the risk of brain aging, cognitive impairment and dementia, or slow down the affects of dementia for those who have it.
If you haven’t moved in a while: Start small and slow.
One of the best exercises we can do is walking. Experts recommend 30 minutes of walking per day. If the idea of doing 30 minutes of walking is too daunting, start with 10 minutes a day in the morning or after dinner and slowly work your way up to 30 minutes per day. Dr. Mike Evans and the Team at the Reframe Health Lab has this great video on how much, how long and how often we should walk for:
Try free weights, resistance bands, water bottles or your own body weight to perform squats, lunges, push ups and sit ups to build strength and preserve muscle mass.
Interesting Fact: It used to be thought that older individuals were not able to build more muscle and strength after 40, and that strength training was meant to only preserve muscle mass. An interesting study examined the effect of resistance training on strength amongst two groups: one 60-75 years of age and the other 20-35 years of age. The study found that regular resistance training allowed the 60-75 year old group to not only preserve, be at the same level of strength or have greater strength as the untrained young adults aged 20-35. More reason to include strength and resistance training as apart of your weekly routine!
Remember it is never too late to make a healthy change. You can start today! As said by one of my past supervisors, “I believe in you.”