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Why You Need To Know About Sarcopenia

What is Sarcopenia?

Sarcopenia is a condition where people lose muscle mass and strength as they get older. This muscle loss can make everyday tasks, like lifting groceries, climbing stairs, or even walking, more difficult. After the age of 30, one can lease 3-8% of muscle mass each decade, after the age of 60 this can increase to 15%.

Muscle loss is a normal part of aging, but it can happen faster if people don’t stay active or eat well. Essentially, sarcopenia is the weakening and shrinking of muscles that comes with age, which can impact a person’s independence and quality of life.

  1. Muscle Mass Preservation and Increase:
    • Resistance exercises are crucial in maintaining and increasing muscle mass, which directly combats the muscle wasting seen in sarcopenia.
    • Studies have shown that adults can gain about 1-2% muscle mass per month through consistent resistance training.
  2. Strength Improvement:
    • Regular resistance training enhances muscle strength, making daily activities easier and reducing the risk of falls and fractures in older adults.
    • Strength improvements of up to 30-40% can be observed in older people after just a few months of resistance exercise.
  3. Enhanced Physical Function and Mobility:
    • Resistance exercises improve overall physical function and mobility, which helps older adults maintain their independence.
    • Data indicate that individuals engaging in resistance training are less likely to experience disability and functional decline.
  4. Metabolic Health Benefits:
    • Engaging in resistance training helps improve metabolic health by increasing muscle mass, which in turn enhances glucose metabolism and reduces the risk of insulin resistance and diabetes.
    • Sarcopenia is associated with a higher risk of metabolic syndrome, but resistance training can mitigate these risks.
  5. Reduction in Sarcopenia Prevalence:
    • Regular resistance exercise can significantly reduce the prevalence and progression of sarcopaenia.
    • Approximately 10-20% of adults over 60 years old and more than 50% of those over 80 are affected by sarcopenia. However, those who engage in consistent resistance training have a markedly lower incidence of this condition.

Basic Statistics on Sarcopenia

  • Sarcopaenia affects 10-20% of individuals over the age of 60.
  • The prevalence increases to over 50% in adults aged 80 and above.
  • Resistance training can improve muscle strength by up to 30-40%.
  • Muscle mass can increase by approximately 1-2% per month with consistent resistance exercise.
  • Regular resistance training significantly reduces the risk of disability and functional decline in older adults.

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