ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Sarcopenia: Why Preventing Age Related Muscle Loss Will Help You Stay Young

Updated on October 30, 2011

Sarcopenia: Age Related Muscle Loss

If you're over forty years old, you're probably affected by Sarcopenia. This condition begins at age twenty-five with a .5-1% loss of muscle mass each year, leading to the classic signs of aging. Frailty, lack of coordination, trembling, and weakness are clearly associated with aging and many people believe that these symptoms are inevitable. However, research now reveals that these conditions are directly related to Sarcopenia or loss of muscle mass associated with aging. In fact, recent research has shown that Sarcopenia can be prevented leading to many benefits. For example, older folks with more muscle mass have a higher metabolism, can be more active, have more stamina, look and feel younger, and have a lower risk for many diseases associated with aging.

Causes of Sarcopenia

The term Sarcopenia is relatively new, having been coined in 1988 by Dr. Irwin Rosenberg to describe the gradual loss of muscle mass due to aging. By giving it a name, he was successful in encouraging research on causes and treatments. Even so, research into Sarcopenia is still in it's infancy so the exact causes have yet to be pin-pointed. Some have hypothesized that Sarcopenia is caused by a variety of factors, all working together, including lower levels of hormones, poor nutritional status, changes within the cells due to free radical damage, and lack of exercise.

As we age, levels of testosterone and growth hormone decline. This can make it more difficult to maintain and build muscle mass. Additionally, the elderly often don't eat enough protein for muscle maintenance and most don't exercise either. All of these factors have been implicated in Sarcopenia.

How to Prevent and Reverse Sarcopenia

Research has shown that Sarcopenia can be prevented and even reversed by resistance training using weights, bands, or bodyweight exercises. Getting started with weight training while middle aged or younger can go a long way towards preventing loss of muscle mass in later years. However, even if you've never lifted weights before and you're over 60 years old, you can still get stronger and reap the benefits of increased muscle mass. Experts are now recommending weight training over cardiovascular exercise like walking. It makes sense, if you're too weak to walk very far, weight training will give you the strength and stamina to walk further or perhaps even to run. They also recommend an increase in dietary protein, fruit and vegetables to further support the maintenance and increase in muscle mass.

Increased Muscle Mass: The Fountain of Youth

By reversing or preventing Sarcopenia through increased muscle mass, one can literally achieve the fountain of youth! Those who stay strong as they age have a much higher chance of remaining active, healthy and younger looking throughout their lives. Read on for motivation and start reaping the benefits of resistance training.

  • Higher metabolism: If you want to fend off the seemingly inevitable weight gain associated with age, lift weights and build muscle. The more muscle a person carries, the higher their metabolism. This is because muscle requires more calories just to be maintained. A higher metabolism will result in a better appearance and a lower risk of diseases related to obesity such as diabetes.
  • More independence, activity and stamina: Older adults who have more muscle strength are able to carry out activites with more independence. Even simple activities like carrying groceries into the house can seem difficult with Sarcopenia. Reversing this disease can do wonders! One might even begin to try more strenuous activities that previously would not have been considered.
  • Decrease in risk of chronic diseases: According to the CDC, strength training can prevent as well as reduce the signs and symptoms of many chronic diseases including diabetes, arthritis, osteporosis, heart disease, obesity, and back pain. This is because resistance training is known to increase glycemic control, bone density, metabolism, and flexibility.
  • Improved sleep and mood: Studies have shown that regular exercise results in improved sleep and less risk of depression.
  • Look and feel younger: A lower body weight, better sleep, higher levels of activity and stamina, and a decrease in the symptoms of chronic disease will inevitably lead to looking and feeling younger.

Sarcopenia isn't Inevitable

The affects of Sarcopenia aren't inevitable. In fact, with a regular program of resistance training, age related muscle loss can be both prevented and reversed, leading to lasting youth and vitality throughout your life time.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • carol3san profile image

      Carolyn Sands 

      6 years ago from Hollywood Florida

      Great hub! I agree that staying fit is important for maintaining good health. I am definitely interested in any new ways to help promote good health for myself and for my family and others.

    • MaxFueled profile image

      MaxFueled 

      6 years ago from , Fort Worth, Texas

      It's true that staying fit is one of the best ways to stay healthy! It also increases glutathione at a cellular level helping to keep you feeling strong and energetic! Great Hub SD Dickens!

    • Eaglekiwi profile image

      Eaglekiwi 

      6 years ago from -Oceania

      I really enjoyed reading you hub.Tons of easy to understand facts and figures that make good sense and inspire me to keep walking and maybe consider some gentle weight lifting. Must check my local flea market tomorrow and maybe (fun walking)& pick up those 3-5lb hand dumb bells.

      Voted up-thank-you!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)