Losing Muscle Mass as we Age
Our blog aims to keep you informed, keep you well and keep you taken care of. Today we want to discuss muscle mass, how it can affect your body and what you can do to keep it.
Atrophy vs. Sarcopenia
Atrophy is defined as the “gradual decline in effectiveness or vigor due to underuse or neglect.” Many times it can be as a result of poor nourishment and circulation or the lack of exercise, among many other things. If you’ve ever worn a cast, then you may have experienced a smaller limb after removal. This is due to the loss of muscle mass.
What many don’t realize is that as we age it also happens naturally. This condition is called sarcopenia. Sarcopenia happens because of diminishing hormones, a lack of physical activity and oxidized proteins settling in the muscular tissue which limit movement.
What effect does it have on my body?
The biggest changes a person will see will be low muscular strength and gait speed when walking. This can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which is a major risk factor in several health issues including osteoporosis, obesity and depression.
Is Sarcopenia or Muscle Mass Loss Preventable?
The short answer is, no. However, it is manageable. Even highly trained athletes experience some level of sarcopenia after the age of 50. But there are three things that you can do to aid in maintaining a healthy level of muscle mass.
- Join a local silver sneakers program – did you know that it is a free athletic program for seniors starting at the age of 65? It will make working out fun, interactive and you’ll meet new friends. Learn more about the program and your eligibility here…
- Walk it out – walking every day for at least 30 minutes can make a positive difference. You can walk around your neighborhood, or at your local gym or shopping mall. Bring a friend to hold you accountable and add a little conversation to the mix. Here is a link to some other exercises if you would like to try more things:
- Dance it out – dancing is an enjoyable way to get exercise and movement in along with a little laughter. Whether you want to get up and boogie on your living room floor or remain seated, this playlist is a compilation of dance videos especially for seniors. Watch and move from your ipad or television. The videos are short and easy to follow. Best of all, they are being demonstrated by people your age!
We hope that you have found our first blog informative. Let us know your thoughts. And be sure to send us pictures on how you are helping your loved ones fight muscle mass loss!
From our home to your home,
Laura and Courtny
Oklahoma Family-Owned & Operated
COVERING THE OKLAHOMA CITY METRO AREA!
Laura Lynn's Home Care, from our heart to your home. Oklahoma's most personalized in-home care. More than just a smile, we're a dependable friend.