Old age can be full of challenges.
Everything from your energy-levels and memory to overall levels of independence starts to fade. It’s no surprise that 87% of people fear getting old!
Sarcopenia is one particular feature of aging that few of us look forward to. Basically, the older we get, the more our muscles start to deteriorate. Muscle mass dwindles, and strength goes with it.
A multitude of daily tasks and activities become harder as a result.
Its debilitating impact makes sarcopenia prevention all-important! Thankfully, though age is a primary cause of the condition, there’s still a lot that can be done to safeguard against it.
Are you looking to allay the onset of age-related muscle loss?
Keep reading for 6 great ways to do exactly that.
1. Regular Exercise
Staying active is a classic preventative approach to a whole plethora of conditions, including sarcopenia.
Make a habit of exercising regularly and you’ll look and feel better for longer.
In terms of sarcopenia, exercise is a natural antidote to its onset. By engaging your muscles in regular activity, you inhibit their propensity to deteriorate over time.
Think about a time you (or someone you know) have been rendered immobile. Maybe you suffered an injury or another health issue that kept you bed-bound for days or weeks. It’s likely that your muscle mass decreased in that time.
Even worse, a vicious cycle can start.
The longer muscles go unused, the more they’ll deteriorate. As a result, they fatigue more readily, which makes exercise even harder.
The situation can continue to escalate until exercise is no longer a viable option.
Stay active, postpone sarcopenia. It’s as simple as that.
2. Healthy, Balanced, and Protein-Rich Diet
Your diet’s all important too.
Again, eating a balanced and healthy diet will help prevent a huge number of illnesses- not just sarcopenia. We could all do with eating and drinking more of what’s good for us!
It isn’t always easy, but the effort is well worth it.
Include a protein source at every meal to make sure you’re ingesting enough of it throughout the day. Quality meat, fish, eggs, pulses, grains (such as quinoa), and nuts are all examples of protein-rich foods to work into your diet.
Remember, though, balance is important! Eat healthy fats and complex carbohydrates in your meals as well. Speak to a dietician for specific advice on cultivating a diet that’s appropriate for your situation.
Here’s a good article if you’re looking to increase your protein intake.
3. Stay Stress-Free
Stress is more than just a hassle of life.
It’s a debilitating human experience that interacts with our physical and mental wellbeing. All manner of illnesses are caused and compounded by stress, including (you guessed it) sarcopenia.
The sarcopenia effect is often indirect though.
Stress is a typical outcome of most illnesses. In the throes of sickness, it’s natural to feel stressed and concerned. The stress from some illnesses, such as chronic liver disease, can cause sarcopenia.
Alas, attempts to avoid stress entirely are futile!
Incapacitating as it can be, stress is also a natural part of life. It serves a protective function that safeguards us from threats in our environment.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important here. First, it may help prevent the onset of preliminary (stress-causing) illnesses. Secondly, it can help limit the experience of stress in and of itself.
4. Sustained Vitamin D Levels
Vitamins are another feature of a healthy lifestyle.
It’s paramount that we get enough of them in order to sustain our wellbeing.
Vitamin D is one of particular significance to sarcopenia. Known to help our bodies absorb calcium (thereby supporting bone strength), being low in vitamin D is linked to lower muscle mass too.
Conversely, getting more vitamin D in your system can turn the situation around, elevating muscle strength and function overall.
Unfortunately, a huge number of people suffer from vitamin D deficiencies these days. We spend a lot of time indoors, limiting our exposure to the sun.
Start by getting your bloods done. You need to know you’re deficient in order to justify any restorative steps. Having confirmed the issue, try getting more sunshine.
In serious cases, you could also consider taking vitamin D supplements. Always check with your doctor first though. Get their backing and advice before making any significant dietary changes.
5. Creatine Supplements
Creatine is another possible source of sarcopenia prevention.
Never heard of it?
In scientific terms, creatine’s a compound that’s found naturally in muscle cells, which helps them produce energy during exercise. In lay terms, it’s a popular muscle-building supplement that gym-goers take to boost their gains.
There’s now evidence to suggest that creatine has anti-sarcopenic utility too. Better still, according to the same source, you don’t need to lift heavy weights to enjoy the effects.
Supplementing your diet with creatine could increase muscle mass and strength as you age.
It’s worth speaking with an expert first though. Creatine isn’t without its critics, with a range of negative side-effects sometimes reported. Set up an appointment with your doctor to ensure that taking creatine is a good move for your particular situation.
6. Seek Effective Support for Inflammatory Illnesses
Certain diseases can cause inflammation that has a negative impact on muscle mass.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Crohn’s disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are three such examples. A bit like stress, though, nobody chooses to suffer these inflammatory afflictions.
If you’re unlucky enough to fall foul of one, then managing it properly is the best way to prevent it from worsening your sarcopenia. For example, the symptoms of RA can be reduced by staying physically active and eating an anti-inflammatory diet.
Try These Sarcopenia Prevention Ideas
Old age is full of trials and tribulations.
There’s good stuff too, of course! However, there’s no denying that getting longer in the tooth has its challenges. Mentally and physically, life can get that bit more difficult.
Sarcopenia, the age-related degeneration of muscle strength and mass, can be a particular burden. Muscle function is key to remaining independent. When they start to struggle, balance and movement start to suffer.
Finding ways to prevent and postpone these developments is vital to staying fit and healthy for longer. Hopefully, this post full of sarcopenia prevention information will help you do exactly that!
Are you looking to look and feel stronger into older age? Take the StrongPath. Click here to read more about 6 top benefits of strength training.