180222 HEALTHY AGING: Waist gain and muscle loss Part 3 of 4

Both the artist Molly Quin and author Treva Lind are from The SPOKESMAN-REVIEW

180222 Waist gain and muscle loss

Ropp said it helps as much as possible to avoid weight gain around the middle as we age. That factor alone affects metabolism, but it has a health significance. Men are at greater risk for heart disease and Type 2 diabetes at a waist measurement greater than 40 inches, and for women, more than 35 inches.

Watch your calorie intake and avoid a cycle, she said. “As we get older, especially if you tend to put on weight around the middle, that can actually decrease how well you handle sugars and carbohydrates.” Simply put, a carbohydrate intolerance can develop later in life and affects how the body uses sugars and carbs. “If you tend to put on weight around your middle, that can change what your body decides to do with sugar, whether it is used for energy or stored for later, which ends up being more weight around your middle. Your body can’t handle as much as when you were younger.”

“Try to avoid the weight gain that tends to happen as you get older because it makes it more difficult to metabolize things correctly.”

Vitamin D might be less efficiently absorbed by the body with age, so ensure you’re getting enough, “especially, again, if you have let yourself gain extra weight around the middle,” she said. Also, maintain more muscle mass through exercise while minimizing fat gain. Both can help you avoid carbohydrate intolerance and a reduction in vitamin D absorption, Ropp added. “That’s why exercise can be considered kind of anti-aging, especially a mix of aerobic and muscle-type exercise.”

“Even more important or as important as what you see happening on the scale is what you see happening around your waist. Sometimes that can be a better indicator of health and maintaining a healthy weight. Pay attention if that’s changing. It’s your body’s way of saying what it can or can’t handle calorie-wise for your age and activity level.”

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