What is Sarcopenia?
Sarcopenia, or the decline of skeletal muscle tissue with age, is one of the most important causes of functional decline and loss of independence in older adults.
Sarcopenia is defined by both loss of muscle mass and loss of muscle function or strength.
Symptoms can include weakness and loss of stamina which can interfere with physical activity.
So what is the right kind of training to do to fight against it?
That depends on your fitness and health goals but in essence: three resistance training sessions a week is ideal and the most important thing is intensity and progression –meaning increasing the amount of weight you are lifting once it stops feeling hard to lift or increasing the repetitions or sets. You can get resistance from bodyweight, bands, dumbells, kettlebells, barbells etc
Reasons Muscle Matters:
1). Muscle enhances your level of functional fitness. Your muscles play a key role in determining whether you can perform the activities of daily living at home, work, and play, such as carrying shopping bags, getting up out of a chair, pulling open a door, or lifting small children. The higher your level of muscular fitness, the more likely you will be able to perform the tasks in everyday life without undue fatigue or risk of injury. Strength training enhances the ability to successfully perform the daily tasks associated with independent living. Proper strength training can have an invaluable impact on helping maintain our independence and personal dignity as we age.
2). Muscle promotes bone health. Strength training not only makes your muscles stronger, it also makes your bones stronger. If performed over an extended time, strength training has been found to increase bone density. Having strong bones help our skeletal system, which supports our posture and helps with our movement. Strong bones also massively reduce our risk of osteoporosis where the bones becomes brittle and fragile.
3). Having muscle helps treat and prevent lower back pain. Strength training can help reduce the incidence and severity of lower back pain by strengthening both your abdominal and lower back muscles (the core wraps around the whole mid-section of the body). Keeping these muscles strong will help prevent extra load from being placed on your spine.
4). Strong muscles reduce your chances of sustaining both muscular and skeletal injuries. It’s estimated that a significant number of various injuries that occur could be prevented through a higher level of muscular fitness.
5). Being stronger can improve psychological well-being. Strength training has been found to have a positive impact on your level of anxiety, depression, and self-esteem. Strength training can have meaningful effects on various aspects of the mind-body connection.