I trust you're safe, fit and well.
All strength to Ukraine 🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦
We know older adults who are physically active are less likely to develop dementia.
Great news, a large study over 30 years found that exercise also helps prevent Parkinson's disease in women - see item #2.
Surprise. It is not just our muscles that require protein to maintain their mass and strength as we age. Recent research shows just how important protein is for bone strength - see item #1.
⭑ More than calcium, healthy bones have a new friend ✔
⭑ New research - Parkinson's delayed by exercise ✔ In women
⭑ My doctor told me to keep taking statins despite not "needing" them ✔
⭑ Dumbell presses and rows are simple, and effective for muscles and posture ✔
When we think about nutrition and bone health, calcium often comes to mind as the key nutrient. However, recent studies have highlighted the importance of protein for maintaining strong bones.
In fact, analyses of healthy adults have shown that higher protein intake is linked to greater bone mineral density across most bone sites and a lower risk of hip fractures.
⇒ These findings are especially significant because past research has suggested that excessive protein consumption could lead to poor bone health.
Currently, evidence indicates that high protein intakes (typically up to ~1.5 g/kg/day in most studies) do not have any adverse effects on skeletal health. Moreover, insufficient dietary protein is likely more detrimental to bone health than excessive consumption.
While optimal protein requirements for older adults’ bone health and fracture prevention remain unclear, it is increasingly evident that they require more than the recommended minimum daily dietary protein of ~1.0 g/kg/day to maintain muscle and bone mass.
It’s important to note that the positive effects of dietary protein on bone health depend on ⇒ adequate calcium intake.
What this means for you: To maintain good musculoskeletal health, you must consume enough calcium (1000-1200 mg) and protein (at least 1.5 g/kg body weight) daily, from various sources as part of a balanced diet, eg:
- 50kg (110 lbs) - 75 grams daily
- 60kg (132 lbs) - 90 grams
- 70kg (154lbs) - 105 grams
- 80kg (176 lbs) - 120 grams
- 90kg (198 lbs) - 135 grams.
Animal proteins provide all essential amino acids, while some plant-based proteins may lack sufficient amounts. However, incorporating multiple plant-based proteins can improve quality by providing a more balanced amino acid profile.
Studies show no significant difference in the effects of animal and plant protein intake on bone health, but further research is needed for conclusive evidence.
Resistance training and a well-balanced diet with enough protein are also crucial for good muscle and bone health.
If you struggle to get enough dietary protein think about adding a protein shake with 25 to 30g of protein per serve. I do this.
02 The Surprising Benefits of Physical Activity for Parkinson's Prevention
A recent study has revealed that women who regularly engage in physical activity are 25% less likely to develop Parkinson's disease than those who are physically inactive.
The study followed 95,354 female participants for three decades. It established a correlation between exercise and a reduced risk of Parkinson's disease.
⇒ One unexpected finding was that not engaging in physical activity may not only increase the likelihood of developing Parkinson's but also accelerate how rapidly the disease progresses.
To lower your risk of developing Parkinson's, and to slow its spread, researchers recommend that older adults exercise regularly
What this means for you: Incorporating physical activity into your daily routine can (1) reduce your risk of developing Parkinson's disease and (2) slow down the progression of the disease if you already have it.
To lower your risk, try engaging in activities such as walking, cycling, gardening, or housework for at least 30 minutes daily.
Start slowly, be consistent, and use the thought that you are giving yourself the best chance of living longer, better, as motivation.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Can exercising help reduce Parkinson's symptoms once it develops?
A: Yes! Studies indicate that exercise can slow down or prevent the progression of this disease.
Q: How much moderate exercise should I do weekly to lower my risk?
A: Based on research, doing at least five hours of moderate exercise per week can significantly decrease the risk of developing Parkinson's for women.
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03 Prevent Multiple Age-Related Diseases with These Medications Even If You Don’t Have Diabetes or High Cholesterol
At a recent annual checkup, my GP said that I did not need to continue to take statins due to the downward trend in my blood cholesterol.
But he recommended that I continue to do so - to keep taking them!
I was taken aback as he is usually keen to get me off medication as soon as possible, so I asked why he recommended continuing the statins.
I didn't expect his answer: Everyone over 50 should take a low-dose statin as a supplement as it has valuable benefits and a low risk of adverse side effects, in his view.
When I looked into this, I found that the use of aspirin, metformin, and statins to prevent health conditions beyond their primary indications is a growing area of research.
These medications have demonstrated the potential to prevent cognitive decline, cancer, and heart disease.
THE BIG IDEA: Using supplements intended for other conditions can potentially prevent multiple age-related diseases even if you don't show symptoms or meet the criteria for a specific need.
This idea challenges the traditional approach of using medications only for their primary indication. The evidence suggests that these medications may help prevent multiple age-related diseases even if you do not meet the criteria for which they are primarily prescribed.
Some people could potentially reduce their risk of developing several age-related diseases at once by taking one of these medications.
⇒ Aspirin, in some studies, appears to have potential cancer-preventing properties.
Aspirin is associated with numerous health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. Some studies suggest aspirin may help prevent cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease. However, it's important to note that aspirin can have side effects such as stomach bleeding. Therefore, it's crucial to consult your doctor before taking aspirin.
⇒ Metformin might offer anti-aging benefits, even for non-diabetic individuals.
Metformin is typically prescribed to diabetes patients (like me); however, it has also demonstrated several other health benefits, such as reducing the risk of cancer and Alzheimer's disease. In addition, metformin is generally well-tolerated but can cause side effects like nausea and diarrhea. So again, it's essential to talk to your doctor before taking metformin.
⇒ Statins may potentially reduce dementia risk, according to preliminary studies.
Statins are mainly prescribed for high-cholesterol patients, but they are also associated with a reduced risk of heart attack, stroke, and cancer. In addition, they are well-tolerated but may cause side effects such as muscle pain and liver damage. Therefore, it's essential to talk to your doctor before taking statins.
What this means for you: Consider consulting your doctor about whether supplementation with aspirin, metformin, or statins could help prevent age-related diseases in your particular circumstances.
I have continued with statins and have not sought out metformin (although I have Type 2 diabetes), nor do I take aspirin regularly. However, I will ask my GP about these at my next checkup.
04 Dumbbell Shoulder Press and Row - a Fabulous Combination
Our exercise of the week is... the dumbbell press and bent-over row - an efficient way to build strength and muscle.
This two-exercise routine targets opposing muscles groups, providing a balanced workout for both strength and muscle size. It's easy to do at home, and it only requires dumbbells (or you can start with a couple of packets of rice!).
I've also included a resistance band version for the pull component - the row.
The complementary movements - push, and then pull - stimulate metabolic responses, which means your body will continue to burn calories even after your workout is over. Consistency with this combination will help improve your bone density, reduce the risk of injury, improve your posture and potentially reduce neck pain.
What this means for you: Begin with 3 sets of 8-10 reps each using weights that allow you to do between eight and ten overhead presses without needing a break.
To improve overall strength, gradually increase the intensity of your workouts by adding weight or increasing reps. Work up from there might mean increasing the weight used for each exercise by a few pounds or adding an extra set every week. Remember not to rush into heavy weights too quickly - it’s better to focus on good form first before gradually adding more resistance.
I recommend about 30 seconds rest between each set so as not to overexert your muscles while at the same time stimulating cardiovascular benefits. The rest interval should allow just enough time for muscles to recover before performing the next set.
Perform three sets of each exercise starting with 8-10 reps per set:
- For the dumbbell shoulder press, stand holding dumbbells by shoulders with palms facing forward. Keep spine neutral and core tight as arms extend pressing dumbbells overhead then lower them back down under control.
- For the dumbbell bent-over row, start by standing holding dumbbells in front of your thighs with palms facing you. Hinge forward at hips and push butt backward until chest is at 30-45° angle with floor. Pull dumbbells up to stomach, bringing elbows above torso before lowering them back down slowly.
- Here’s how you can do rows using resistance bands: Start by anchoring one end of the band around something sturdy at waist height. Then, step on or kneel down near the other end of the band with it in your hand(s). Hinge forward slightly and perform a single-arm or double-arm row, pulling the band towards your torso while keeping your elbow(s) close to your body.
Progression: Gradually increase the weight (or tension in the resistance band) as you become more comfortable with the movements and aim to add an extra set or two.
Remember that consistency is key when it comes to strength training. Stick with this routine at least three times per week and make sure you are challenging yourself while maintaining proper form throughout your workout.
These are two very simple exercises with great benefits. With time and dedication, you will see improvements in both your muscular endurance and overall strength, and feel satisfied and motivated.
Thanks for reading!
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>> My Latest Blog Post: Energise Your Golden Years: Boosting Your Desire to Exercise with Gut-Healthy Foods
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