Getting the Right Nutrition and Maintaining Muscle Health can Help you Stay Strong
Mindful eating, regular fitness routine and maintaining a positive outlook in life are just some of this year’s practical health trends both for the young and healthy aging population alike.
Edu Manzano, veteran actor, TV personality and businessman, believes that people should gear themselves well into retirement by maintaining a healthy lifestyle even at an early stage. “I may be in my late 50s, but my body feels a lot younger. I observe a strict, balanced diet, a regular fitness routine and surround myself with a regular dose of green space. These habits help me keep up with the demands of my career and personal life”, says Manzano.
On the other hand, Manzano continued to explain how the loss of strength can be a challenge for aging Filipinos. He explains, “Change is usually difficult, especially when it comes to our bodies as we age. I realize that simple tasks such as lifting objects, walking up the stairs and doing other daily physical activities are not as easy compared to doing these ten or fifteen years ago.”
Loss of Strength A Top Health Concern In The Philippines
It is well-recognized that loss of strength is a reality for most adults as they age. Loss of strength may be an indication of a decrease in muscle mass or not getting the right level of nutrition, otherwise known as nutrition gaps. In the Philippines, strength becomes even more important as one ages.2 In fact, a survey among Filipinos aged 40 and up shows that loss of strength is their top health concern.1 In addition to the natural decrease in muscle mass as people get older, several factors such as poor food choices, decreased appetite or difficulty in digesting certain foods contribute to muscle loss.
Nutritional Status Has An Impact On Muscle Health
Nutritional status has a great impact on muscle health and strength. In a clinical nutrition review, lower absolute hand grip strength values were found in malnourished patients when compared to well-nourished hospitalized patients.
Among the measurements of voluntary muscle strength, hand grip strength is a validated and feasible bed side method, which makes it a frequently used tool for clinical purpose.4 Hand grip strength signifies the maximum strength resulting from the contraction of several hand muscles which lead to the bending of hand joints.
Hand grip strength is a recognized marker of nutritional status and an indicator of muscle function. In a physical performance test, adults with nutrition gaps had almost twice lower hand grip strength, took almost twice longer to stand and five times slower to step up and down compared to age-matched norm.
Furthermore, loss of strength may be an indication of nutrition gaps and of muscle mass loss. Not eating the right amount and the right kind of food can result in a decrease in muscle mass and function.4 Muscle loss can affect a person’s energy and ability to perform daily activities, such as walking, rising out of a chair, and gripping or lifting objects.
THE ENSURE STAY STRONG GRIP STRENGTH CHALLENGE
Abbott is introducing the Ensure Stay Strong Grip Strength Challenge – a free assessment on strength and muscle mass that aims to reach over 200,000 aging adults nationwide. The activity aims to measure the individual’s grip strength and muscle mass levels with free hand grip strength and muscle mass tests.
Dr. Jose Rodolfo Dimaano Jr., Medical Director at Abbott Nutrition Philippines, explains, “The consequences of having nutrition gaps and decreased physical performance due to muscle mass loss in older adults can be debilitating. Being aware of your muscle mass levels and gaps in nutrition can prompt you to take charge of your health by maintaining a balanced diet and an active lifestyle. Resistance exercise along with a complete and balanced oral nutrition such as Ensure can help improve strength. Complete and balanced oral nutrition supplements are shown to improve hand grip strength within 8 weeks of intake.”12
The Ensure Stay Strong Grip Strength Challenge will have over 8,700 activation days at select drug stores and leading supermarkets nationwide.