60 is the new 40?
Did you know we can lose as much as 3-5% of muscle mass each decade after the age of 30? However, the choices we make on a daily basis can prevent this from happening.
Today we are talking about an important subject, especially for those over the age of 40 and for those who have been noticing muscle loss. Muscle loss due to aging, otherwise known as sarcopenia, affects 10% of adults every year.
Sarcopenia is caused by an imbalance between muscle cell growth signaling and muscle cell metabolism signaling.
This cycle occurs naturally, and when working optimally, our muscle strength stays consistent. As we age (gracefully!) our body naturally becomes resistant to muscle cell growth signaling (so we need to strengthen it in order to keep it running automatically) and leads to muscle loss.
Today we are joined by Dr. Jack Tips, Ph.D. and CCN, who learned from his own wake-up call regarding age-related muscle loss, and subsequently made shifts in his lifestyle to create positive change and therefore retain his independence and freedom of movement.
From this, Jack has dedicated clinical research to sarcopenia and age-related muscle loss. Typically, muscle loss can be accelerated or come about at any time in life due to: a sedentary lifestyle, chronic imbalance (carrying yourself a certain way), poor diet, inflammation and chronic stress.
To support the body against age-related muscle loss, Jack recommends specific exercise routines, high-quality protein, and specific superfoods to support the adrenals and the mitochondria.
- 9-Week Warm-Up. Start slow! If you have been sedentary for a long period of time, now is not the time to go out and run a marathon.
- Resistance Training can include using body weight, weightlifting or resistance bands.
- High-intensity exercise has been shown to be beneficial to the metabolism, the cells, and the mitochondria. This quick, burst energy can be in the form of tennis, running up a hill or a guided workout.
- Stretch! Yoga is an excellent form to carry a person through life both physically and emotionally.
Protein: Quality over Quantity
Protein has been shown to be the most satiating macronutrient and signals muscle tissue growth. When exercising on a regular basis, it is important to refuel the muscles with adequate protein. However, a high protein supplement or diet should be followed with caution; it can be taxing on the kidneys and interfere with proper protein folding. Supplementing with protein can be helpful; however, powders are highly processed and can stimulate the pancreas to release insulin, finding a protein which does not raise insulin levels is the best. Trusting your body and seeing how you feel with different protein sources is the best way to ensure you are properly digesting the protein.
Balancing Adrenal Health
Exercise still needs to happen; however, your exercise should not deplete or fatigue you. Adequate recovery from adrenal fatigue includes:
Gentle exercise such as walking, yoga, pilates or the increasingly popular barre exercise.
Appropriate supplements which support the adrenals and stress hormones such as Cortisol-Calm which supports healthy cortisol levels or Ashwagandha, which is an adaptogen to support the adrenals in modulating stress.
Protein sources such as high-quality meat, hemp protein, whey or collagen.
Healthy whole-foods balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables.
Changing your relationship to stress and perfectionism is one of the top recommendations when healing adrenal health. Once you are stable with cellular energy and supporting your mitochondria, exercise should be fun!
Superfoods for Muscle and Mitochondrial Energy
Leafy greens such as spinach, collard greens, and kale are high in folate and antioxidants. For added greens in a pinch (or traveling) we love PaleoGreen powder.
Avocado and coconut oil are healthy sources of fat which support and fuel our cells
Nuts and seeds are powerhouses for the body and they are full of healthy fats and protein as well as vitamins and minerals to support muscle growth and development.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids are great to fuel the cells and also increase muscle growth. Wild caught, cold-water fish, is the best source, or a high-quality fish oil. Find our favorite fish oil here.
A high-quality multivitamin is a must for anyone over 40. We recommend using one which includes mitochondria boosting nutrients and as well as cofactors necessary for energy production. Mitochondrial NRG is my multivitamin of choice since I am about to turn 40!
Using food as medicine and focusing on high-quality sleep are important components in our overall health, but really looking at a holistic model includes mental and emotional components; our thoughts, attitude, and beliefs. We have an inner ally and its core desire is to become healthy and whole!
Try a 9-week program that includes 28 minutes a day of exercise. Should be easy enough to get back into a groove! Limitless Living is a program which Jack and his partner and chiropractor, Ben developed together. It offers a detailed, easy to implement 9-week exercise program, dietary guidelines, and lifestyle recommendations to remove the toxin burden on the body while supporting the mitochondria.