EFFECTS OF AGE ON MUSCLE
By: Marylin Salgado
June 25, 2019
Science research has determined we start losing muscle mass and strength in our 30’s, at a rate of 3% to 5% per decade. Age-related Sarcopenia, or flesh loss in Greek, is the name given to skeletal muscle loss and function as well as decrease in muscle mass as we get older.
There are things we certainly can’t avoid during our lifetime, and one of them is aging. One day we have a full head of beautiful thick hair, youthful skin and we can party all night and sleep until one o’clock in the afternoon and feel as good as if we woke up at 9 am. Then one day, we wake up and realize our hair is a lot grayer, brittle, or thinner and every joint hurts. We can’t work an 8-hour shift without popping knees or a sore back. And we definitely can’t kill that workout like we used to, or can we?
As you get older, you notice that you get more fatigued, it takes you more time to perform tasks and you need a little bit more time to complete that cardio or that final push on the weight. Some of us are lucky enough to have the “youth gene” and feel just as good or if not better than when we were in our twenties. But aging is inevitable, and so is Sarcopenia, which is more like to happen after 50.
What is Sarcopenia?
Sarcopenia is a disease of the muscles which causes a decrease in muscle mass and function, especially after age 50. By the time you reach your senior years, and if you have been diagnosed with Sarcopenia, you are more likely to lose some if not all of your muscle mass. Having additional health problems, like Diabetes or Cardiac, can add to a debilitating and poor quality of life.
Sarcopenia is primarily caused by a sedentary lifestyle, poor diet and lack of exercise. If you are reading this blog, then you have either made up your mind you are interested in Tokkyo products and initiating an exercise and nutrition program, or you are an active adult but would like to know if you can avoid this still or keep from getting it. The answer is yes.
Dr. Robert Drapkin proved exactly that, when at age 50, he started body building. At the age of 72, he was a champion body builder. Smart diet choices and exercise can begin at any age. Obviously, the younger you are when you begin, the better of you will be, as your body can take more resistance and weight. As you age, this is more difficult to accomplish, but not impossible.
So, if you do any kind of workout, will you save yourself from Sarcopenia? Unfortunately, the answer is no. Endurance athletes who do mostly cardio are losing muscle mass and strength and are being diagnosed with Sarcopenia. Intense endurance exercise blocks the production of the muscle building enzyme mTOR, which is responsible for protein synthesis, which we all know is essential to repair muscle damage caused by intense exercise. The trick is to vary your workout between cardio and strength.
How to beat Sarcopenia
- INCREASE YOUR PROTEIN INTAKE! – I am a huge protein advocate. Protein is just about everywhere in our bodies. As we age, our rate of absorption decreases. A healthy diet supplemented with Protein is essential to avoid Sarcopenia.
- Supplements endorsed by science and Dr. Drapkin – Whey Protein (of course), Omega 3-6-9 (fish oil), Vitamin D (also obtained from the sun), and a multivitamin.
- Exercise – Technology, cars, cell phones, computer jobs..they all have made us lazy. The fast food industry and store bought processed foods are to blame, as well. The modern world has taken over, but the human body has remained pretty much the same; including our metabolism. So without exercise and finding ways to eat healthier, a lot healthier, it is quite difficult as we age to beat Sarcopenia.
- Use weights or exercise bands, and include cardio. Exercise and low weights are a healthy alternative for older adults to build some healthy muscle and avoid Sarcopenia.
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