Unsure on your feet? Did you know that leg strength is considered a "Life Indicator"? A life indicator is a sign that I pay close attention and can indicate to me the quality of life, as well as the potential longevity of an individual's life. There are three life indicators that include:
1. The ability to build lean muscle tissue
2. Vo2 Max
3. Leg Strength
Leg Strength is most important life indicator, in my opinion, due to the amount of systems it impacts directly and indirectly. Think about it, why do we get off our tails and leave our homes to go for a walk? We do this to improve our cardiovascular system and strengthen our heart! However, how are you going to do that, if you cannot stand for more than a couple of minutes.
Sarcopenia is a term we use to describe age related muscle loss. As we age, some muscle loss is expected, however, not consuming enough daily calories to maintain muscle mass can exacerbate the sypmtoms of Sarcopenia. "The proteins in your muscles are constantly being broken down. If you aren't consuming enough protein in your diet, the breakdown exceeds synthesis and you have a loss of muscle mass", this according to Roger Fielding, PhD, associate director of the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston. Dr. Roger Fielding added, "If you aren't consuming enough protein in your diet, the breakdown exceeds synthesis and you have a loss of muscle mass." And without strong muscles to support your joints, your balance may suffer, leaving you at a greater risk for an unintended fall.
So what can you do? On average, older adults should consume 0.6 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. That's about 90 grams for someone that weighs 150 pounds. An important note, make sure to spread those protein grams throughout the meals you would eat in a day.
Thanksgiving is right around the corner and this is your official "license to eat"! Of course, make sure to eat the pumpkin pie in moderation!
Chris R. Williams
Chris is the author of "Balance University" and President of Emeritus Health. He has a degree in Dietetics/Nutrition and has worked in the health and fitness industry for over 20 years. Chris has held over 10,000 private sessions over his career with clients while in private practice in Florida.