By Kevin DiDonato MS, CSCS, CES
You are getting older. And so is a good majority of our population and the world. With an estimated 77.6 million baby boomers, it’s a fact that we are getting older.
And there is nothing you can do about it!
But there could be a way to control the SPEED of aging.
Watching your diet can help you maintain a healthy body weight.
And exercise strengthens your muscles, which can lead to overall better body composition.
Strength training also increases strength in your muscles and bones.
And this could add YEARS back to your life, figuratively speaking.
But there is ONE IMPORTANT nutrient you need to remember to take as you get older.
And this one nutrient, shown in research, could improve your heart health and has the potential to help you shed a pound or two.
Plus, now it could help increase your overall strength and force production.
Let me explain…
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats which your body cannot make.
Omega-3 fatty acids are broken down into three sources:
• ALA (plant based)
DHA and EPA are found in Krill oil and fish oil.
However, you may have heard that Krill Oil is better than Fish oil.
As a review…
Fish oil and Krill oil BOTH contain DHA and EPA.
And, some studies have shown, fish oil contains slightly higher levels than Krill oil.
However, the structure of Krill compared to fish oil is the KEY.
In fish oil, the omega-3 fatty acids are bound by a triglyceride backbone.
And in Krill oil, the omega-3 fatty acids are bound by a phospholipid backbone.
And this is the BIGGEST difference between the two.
Krill oil only contains 62.8% omega-3 fatty acids.
But due to the chemical makeup, it could help to improve the absorption rate in your intestines.
This means that you could potentially INCREASE omega-3 levels in your blood.
And this may make it MORE powerful than just regular fish oil of which the absorption rate could be significantly LOWER.
ALA is another form of an omega-3 fatty acid, and is a good source, but might not be as beneficial as Krill or fish oil.
The problem with ALA is this: once ingested, ALA has to be further processed to turn it into DHA.
And this conversion of ALA to DHA, research shows, is not very efficient.
You may not get as much DHA from ALA that you would find in Krill oil.
In order for you to increase more omega-3 fatty acids intake, it should be recommended to increase your vegetable intake AND your intake of fatty fish.
Omega-3 fatty acids could potentially reduce cholesterol and improve your heart health.
It also has been shown to improve symptoms of depression, arthritis, and possibly cancer.
But now, omega-3 fatty acids could also possess the ability to improve the quality of life as you age.
Give me a minute to explain…
Strength Training And Aging
One way to stop the age-related decline in muscle loss could be to turn to strength-based exercises.
And with more and more people aging and reaching baby boomer status, the population of older adults who exercise IS EXPLODING.
Strength training progressively promotes overload to your muscles, possibly increasing muscle size and strength.
Muscle tissue is more metabolically active than fat tissue, possibly leading to weight loss or even more muscle tone.
Exercise, in general, improves strength and endurance in your muscles, and also put stress on your bones.
And this stress, research suggests, can strengthen your bones, therefore possibly improving, or even preventing, age-related osteoporosis.
And let’s not forget about weight loss.
Increasing muscle tissue has the ability to increase a metabolically active tissue.
And this tissue needs more CALORIES in order to keep you running throughout the day.
Having more lean mass (muscles) could increase your resting metabolic rate, so you could burn more calories throughout the day - even while SLEEPING.
This could potentially improve body composition by burning your fat stores to use as energy.
This may leave you trim and tone way into your golden years.
Omega-3 fatty acids, some clinical research shows, provide even MORE benefits than you already know about.
Researchers in Brazil have possibly discovered AMAZING benefits regarding omega-3 fatty acids and strength training.
It might SHOCK you to know that omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to IMPROVE strength as you get older.
Researchers in Brazil recruited 45 women with a mean age of 64.
They divided the women into three groups
• Strength training only
• Strength training with omega-3 fatty acids for 90 days
• Strength training with omega-3 fatty acids for 150 days
The researchers wanted to see if omega-3 fatty acids could benefit muscle strength and development.
After 90 days of strength training, the researchers were SHOCKED by their findings.
They noticed that all three groups increased their strength and muscle force.
But more importantly, the group supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids showed SIGNIFICANT improvements in strength than the strength training alone group.
They concluded that strength training DID improve strength in elderly women and in ALL groups, but that groups supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids showed significant improvements in muscle strength AND functional capacity.
Take Home Message
Aging affects everyone differently.
And with the baby boomer population increasing, there are plenty of people looking for the fountain of youth.
Exercise is one way to increase longevity due to altering body composition, blood lipid profiles, strengthening of your muscles and bones.
Omega-3 fatty acids and strength training combined may STRENGTHEN and improve muscle force.
And this could lead to increased lean mass, which may alter your body composition - for the better.
In order to increase your omega-3 fatty acid intake, you should increase your marine (fish) intake and vegetable intake.
You could possibly live a leaner and fuller life throughout your golden years.
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Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
Monday, March 2, 2015
I have been a fat loss expert and fitness author since 2006 and am the owner of Her Fitness Hut, My Fitness Hut, Sports Fitness Hut and Your Fitness University. I have helped thousands transform their bodies to lean with lasting weight loss.
My 7-Day Fat Loss Hacks Coaching Course will get you off to a great start to reach your body-changing goals!
I encourage clients and readers to make lifestyle changes that lead to better long-term health, which includes acceptable body fat and your ideal body weight. I do not recommend fad diets, quick weight loss gimmicks, starvation diets, weight loss pills, fat burner supplements and the like.