From the Greek language “sarx” meaning flesh and “penia” meaning poverty/loss.
Muscle mass and strength declines at a rate of 3% – 8% per decade after the age of 30, with these figures increasing after the age of 60. It’s arguably one of the largest changes associated with aging and is a huge contributor to risk of falls, fractures, function and mortality.
Am I at the mercy of my age?
Although age is a risk factor in sarcopenia, there are other factors contributing to the condition such as:
- Insufficient nutritional/protein intake.
- Insufficient physical activity (particularly resistance training).
How do these affect sarcopenia?
Protein is an essential nutrient (the body requires external sources of it to survive), it has a large influence on muscle growth and retention. There’s growing evidence that as you age, you become less sensitive to the effects of protein and as a result require more of it. (Deer et al, 2015).
In fact, insufficient protein intake is highly prevalent in the elderly (ten Haaf et al, 2018). These can be caused by a host of factors like changes in appetite, food preference and lowered physical activity levels.
If you’ve come across my instagram posts, you’ll notice a recurring theme on how profound the effects of resistance training are. It promotes/maintains muscle mass, reduces frailty, increases bone density (particularly important for women but also men), increases/maintains strength, reduces falls risk and is associated with a host of other favorable outcomes. It’s possibly the best return on investment as far as types of physical activity go (Law, Clark, & Clark, 2016).
How often do I need to lift weights?
Most recommendations point to two sessions a week for beneficial health changes to occur. Having said that, one session a week will still have a positive effect especially if you are new to training. A simple full body workout will suffice.
If you have pain or discomfort preventing you from exercising, Michael is available for consultation. He is a Melbourne based chiropractor who consults from Medical clinics in Croydon.
He uses a variety of manual therapy approaches such as therapeutic massage, trigger point therapy, dry needling and rehabilitative exercise.
For more information please contact Michael on 0430 300 257. Chiropractic care is covered by Private Health Insurance (depending on your plan) and some patients may be eligible for a Medicare EPC referral.
Deer R.R and Volpi E. (2015). Protein intake and muscle function in older adults. Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care, 18 (3), 248 – 253. Doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000162
ten Haaf, D. S. M., de Regt, M. F., Visser, M., Witteman, B. J. M., de Vries, J. H. M., Eijsvogels, T. M. H., & Hopman, M. T. E. (2018). Insufficient Protein Intake is Highly Prevalent among Physically Active Elderly. The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, 22(9), 1112–1114. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12603-018-1075-8
Law, T. D., Clark, L. A., & Clark, B. C. (2016). Resistance Exercise to Prevent and Manage Sarcopenia and Dynapenia. Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 36(1), 205–228. https://doi.org/10.1891/0198-8794.36.205