The gradual progression of old age has a number of effects on our bodies. It makes sense, seeing as our bodies aren’t meant to function at full capacity over the course of our whole lives.
That said, we don’t have to be totally at the whim of time. We can take measures to keep our bodies in the best shape possible throughout old age.
One effect of old age is sarcopenia. We’re going to discuss sarcopenia in this article, giving you some insight into what it is and the various options you have for sarcopenia treatment. Hopefully, the article can give you some perspective as to what to expect in terms of muscular degeneration as you age.
Let’s get started.
What is Sarcopenia and Why Does it Occur?
Let’s start off with a brief definition: sarcopenia is the degeneration of muscle mass as a result of old age. Everyone experiences it, and there’s not a whole lot anyone can do about that fact.
The extent of that degeneration is what we do have some influence over, however. It’s well-known that lack of general exercise contributes to the loss of muscle mass, independent of old age. Our bodies evolved in environments where every member of the group had to be relatively active.
Whether that meant walking every day or running and hunting, people were more active, even in old age, before civilization made our lives so sedentary. Our biology requires that we move regularly, and we suffer consequences when we ignore that fact.
Because sarcopenia is a broad and general disorder, it’s hard to put into a pigeonhole. Everyone experiences it, and it relates to the general muscle mass and function of our bodies, so we have to use what is known about health and wellness to combat it.
The first part of sarcopenia treatment, then, is a healthier and more active life. That said, we have to be more specific in our approach as we get older.
That means working with medical professionals, or at least consulting with them, about ways that you can keep a healthy level of muscle mass in specific areas.
You may think that old age will inevitably leave you immobile. However, this is fundamentally untrue. Time and time again we see examples of people in their 90s who live mobile, meaningful lives.
We mention mobility because it is one of the mean concerns of people who are starting to experience sarcopenia. The fear of not being able to take care of yourself is a huge one. It means that you’ll have to live with assistance and be prevented from doing the things you want to do.
It’s important to note that muscle loss can begin naturally in our 30s or 40s, and the effects of it gradually compound and increase as we age. That means we become frailer, more susceptible to falls, and less able to fight off simple diseases and illnesses.
Here are a few of the things we can do to keep ourselves from getting too far into the claws of sarcopenia.
1. Maintain a Healthy Diet
First things first, keep nutrition in mind as you age. It’s easy to fall into short cycles of eating unhealthy foods and forgetting your fitness. This is natural, and everyone does it.
Do your best to avoid that kind of behavior, though, because it can significantly damages to your longevity if this behavior persists for too long. Think about your diet the way you think about the stock market.
If you owned a relatively profitable stock for a decade or so, you wouldn’t just sell it off because the market was down for a month or two. If you believed in it, you would hang on to it and hope that it produced revenue for you later on.
Similarly, the grand scheme of our lives won’t be too affected by a month-long period of overeating or forgetting to get enough protein. The point is to not be discouraged by those bouts and don’t let them affect you too much. Make sure you make healthy eating the rule and not the exception, though.
Our diets play huge rules in literally all of our essential bodily functions. They also contribute heavily to our susceptibility to disease.
Most importantly for the purposes of this article, diet and muscle mass correlate directly. The diet you consume will play into the mass and quality of your muscles throughout your entire life.
2. Understand that Exercise is Necessary
If you’re interested in living a long and independent life, exercise needs to be a part of your life.
There’s not a lot of wiggle room here, although exercise doesn’t have to entail gym memberships and protein shakes. Our ancestors didn’t have elliptical machines and dumbells.
Find something active that you enjoy doing and establish it as a part of your life. If that means going to the gym and trying to work on specific parts of your body, that’s great!
If that means going for regular walks around your neighborhood and doing the occasional pushup, that also works. What matters is that you’re giving attention to the parts of your body that need it.
Finding out precisely what works for you could be a matter of trial and error. It should involve regular trips to your doctor to examine your health and fitness, though, because things will certainly change in your body over time.
A comprehensive approach to fitness is going to be your best bet. That means working, however intensely, on various muscle groups and adding regular cardio into the mix. These things will make a massive difference over time.
As you ease into old age, you’ll find that you’re managing to stay independent and happy for far longer than your peers, and there isn’t a price you can put on that kind of freedom.
Want to Get More Information?
If you’re interested in learning more about sarcopenia and sarcopenia treatment, you’ve come to the right place. We’re here to help you get the information you need and provide a variety of muscle-generating tips for you to try out.
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