Use It or Lose It
Preventing the loss of muscle mass as we age is essential to keeping our lifespan a thriving one.
Exercise is an important component of health throughout our lives but becomes even more important as we age because we become more susceptible to losing muscle and function.
Severe muscle loss, called sarcopenia, is one of the age-related changes, is sometimes see in older adults because muscle mass is maintained into our 40s and then progressively declines.
As we age the loss of muscle mass occurs because we stop generating enough new muscle cells to compensate for those we have lost.
While muscle mass loss is a concern, losing strength is a more significant problem. A decrease in muscle strength can be related to the quality of muscle itself, or it can be caused by changes to our blood vessels and brain that occur when an older nervous system doesn’t tell the muscles to activate or when oxygen and nutrients are impaired.
As people age, they often exercise less and are not physically active in general. And we know that sedentary behavior can contribute to the loss of muscle strength and muscle mass with advancing age.
If left unchecked muscle loss can lead to poor physical performance, including difficulty with climbing stairs, walking and rising from a chair, all of which leads to ad increased risk of falling and a potential need for long term medical care.
Loss of muscle is also bad for our metabolic health. There is a direct correlation between losing muscle mass and type 2 diabetes.
Muscle is our most important organ for maintaining our sensitivity to insulin because muscles stores most of the body's sugar as glycogen, and insulin resistance is a primary element of type 2 diabetes.
In addition, people usually don't change their eating habits as they age and they become less active so they tend to accumulate fat instead of burning those calories.
So, as you can see, keeping muscles strong as we age is extremely important.
If you’d like help keeping your muscles strong as you age, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can work together to do just that.
I am a personal trainer after all.