Nobody wants their parents and grandparents to get old and frail. Yet for most of us, this is the harsh reality of ageing.
In this article, I will explain three of the most common factors that effect quality of life in the elderly and what you can do to help.
Heard of Sarcopenia? Yeah, I didn't think so!
It's basically where, as you age (and after menopause), there is progressive loss of muscle size, strength and performance. This is bad news. Like, really bad. Not only does it decrease movement quality and restrict activities, but also increases the chances of fractures, falls and injuries.
What can you do to prevent this?
1. Resistance training: This can be anything from walking, sitting on a chair and standing repeatedly or going to a gym (I've had 60+ year old clients deadlifting their body-weight).
2. Ensure enough protein (and Amino Acids) in meals: One large dose of protein is better than lots of little ones spread throughout the day (to stimulate Muscle Protein Synthesis). If they struggle with this, supplement meals with amino acids.
3. Supplement with Fish oils and Creatine: Vital for muscle mass and function.
One you may have heard of is Osteoporosis.
This is where your bone density and mass decreases making fractures and breaks more common with age (and post menopause).
To counter this all you need to do is:
1. Resistance training: Again, as you get older, being strong is the most underrated asset for health. Load your bones as often as possible.
2. Supplement with Vitamin D: This isn't just for the oldies, but does help prevent osteoporosis.
3. Increase Calcium intake: Either through supplements or foods such as whole milk, yogurt, sardines and spinach.
Finally there is Age-related weight loss.
Now this may seem like a good thing for some people, however, body-weight loss of more than 4% in a year is a predictor of mortality in older adults (65+). This can be due to changes in taste and smell, slowed gastric emptying and greater feelings of satiety after meals.
Quick and easy fixes to help maintain weight are:
1. Meal Prep or delivery service company - Less effort, easier for them to cook.
2. High calorie, low volume meals and snacks. Often high in fat such as nuts.
3. Liquid calories: Milk, fruit juices..... reduced caffeine (Tea and coffee).
Now, this might all seem like a lot of fuss and effort. But when it comes the longevity and quality of life of your family and friends, is it not worth it?
All of the supplements mentioned above can be found at www.optimalfit.co.uk/shop and for MyProtein use code 'AMBITION' *
*Do not feel obliged to order from there. These are, however, the ones both my clients and I use, and I can vouch for their quality.