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What your biceps tell you about your chances for successful longevity

The stronger you are the longer you will live. Strength at any age increases your ability to live longer. Part of the issue of maintaining strength is how strong you can become, not just how strong you are today.

Strength is not just thick muscles, but how you use them and how they can work together to get the function accomplished: the perfect start off the blocks, the perfect serve, the perfect rim shot, the perfect swing.

How much muscle you have and how much you can build is the stuff of science, and trying to figure how much muscle you have is most accurately determined by body composition testing with DXA machines.

Total muscle mass and calculating your SMI the skeletal muscle index. SMI is the sum of the muscle masses in the arms and legs divided by height squared. In studies of women in the menopause transition the SMI muscle index was associated with protein intake and negatively associated with the percent of body fat.

As we age we need more protein intake to decrease losing muscle. It’s been tough to study as those with better protein intake have other better nutritional strategies, better health behaviors, but there are some other issues such as subtle impairment to the metabolism seems to be part of the blame of not having the best muscle body composition. In a report in the journal Menopause in the winter of 2010, Dr. Andre Lemay and co-workers discovered that abdominal fat that menopausal women report also is related to increased triglcyerides and decreased high density lipoprotein cholesterol, even fasting insulin levels were noted to be elevated in this group of women. In essence these women became pre-diabetics. And before any of the formal definitions of diabetes were met, almost a 5th of these women were found to have insulin resistance. Fasting insulin is a quick and accurate way to measure insulin resistance and can be used to have a positive intervention on your diet. It may mean taking diabetes medication and eating a fairly strict diabetic diet, but if the biologic basis is right, then this is a solution that has evaded patients and doctors for decades! At WHP Health we have blood panel testing that will give you more in depth information regarding your cholesterol as well as information regarding your insulin levels and your ability to process sugar. Call or email to schedule your appointment today!

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