Strength is one of the keys to living a long, healthy, and active life. Even without robust physical activity, the human body tends to generate and accumulate muscle mass easily from birth to around the age of thirty. Beyond 30, however, the body slowly loses its ability to retain muscle mass. This health concern is known as Age-Related Sarcopenia.
How Does Sarcopenia Progress?
The older that we get, the more important that it becomes to engage in regular strength training. Sedentary individuals can expect to lose 3-5% muscle every ten years after thirty. For those that are more active, it takes more work to maintain muscle mass, and the ceiling for strength slowly starts to decline.
Sarcopenia isn't something you can diagnose with a blood test because muscle loss is the result of various processes that are associated with getting older. It's essential to make efforts to ward off Sarcopenia and mitigate its effects because your actions now will increase your mobility and strength in the long run.
While Sarcopenia occurs at a relatively slow rate from the thirties through the sixties, it tends to accelerate around the age of 75. Depending on lifestyle and genetic factors, however, the age of acceleration can range from 65-80. Along with Osteoporosis, Sarcopenia is a significant risk factor for falls and fractures when folks get older. Muscles help with balance and maintain the structural integrity of the human body while also providing cushion for the bones.
While these major risks are associated with late-stage Sarcopenia, you'll likely notice some issues during middle age. With reduced muscle mass comes diminished stamina and increased feelings of weakness. This can create a cycle where you engage in less physical activity because of your perceived limitations, which leads you to weaken further. It's important to still push yourself (or push yourself even harder) when you feel yourself reaching those limits, though not to the point of injury.
Causes of Sarcopenia
Sarcopenia has many causes, not all of which are fully understood. It's believed that Hormone Deficiency plays a big role in the loss of strength, specifically due to HGH Deficiency and Low-T. Testosterone is a powerful androgen and Human Growth Hormone promotes cellular metabolism and healing. HGH and IGF-1 repair muscle tissues after workouts, ultimately leading to stronger muscles.
Many people lose muscle because of nutrition issues. Proteins are the core building block of muscle mass, and over-reliance on carbohydrates can hinder that progress. It's also possible to slowly lose protein-conversion efficiency. Even if you're getting plenty of protein in your diet, your body can gradually lose the ability to efficiently synthesize muscle mass. Neurological decline can also contribute to loss of strength. If the neural link between the brain and muscles weakens, this makes it harder to maximize muscle engagement.
How to Treat Sarcopenia
For mild cases of Sarcopenia, the most effective and least intrusive form of treatment is exercise. Strength and resistance training best provide the results. Lifting weights and exercising with resistance bands are both excellent choices. Many people choose to engage in cardio with the assistance of body weights to encourage muscle-building. Studies have shown that resistance training can help older folks increase the efficiency of energy conversion in just fourteen days. It also strengthens the bond between the brain and body via the nervous system.
In many cases, patients seek out Hormone Replacement Therapy as a means to relieve Sarcopenia. A licensed Hormone Specialist can help you determine if you are eligible for HRT Treatment with Human Growth Hormone or Testosterone. While these treatments should not be used strictly for strength training, there are millions of patients nationwide that may benefit from improved Hormone Balance via Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy.
Urocortin II has also been used to limit muscle atrophy to some success. Also, adequate treatment for chronic conditions such as hypertension, obesity, and insulin-resistance will provide some relief from Sarcopenia. Whatever treatment you choose, keep exercising!
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