Getting older is usually an unpleasant process for most of us. There are the signs of aging, such as crow’s feet, bags under the eyes, age spots, wrinkles and sagging skin. Health-wise, aging can cause us to slow down, making the care free eating habits of our youth the new enemy. From love handles to unwanted weight gain, staying in shape through physical fitness can seem like a hassle but it can save you a lot of grief down the road. Once you learn more about the condition known as sarcopenia, you’ll have more motivation than ever to stay in shape.
If you have never heard of sarcopenia, this condition can easily be defined as a condition that causes the loss of lean muscle mass in the human body. Not only is this a naturally occurring process for humans as we age, the lean muscle mass that is lost is replaced by fat - not good. Sacropenia targets both inactive and physically active people, although it goes without saying that individuals that are do not make regular exercise a part of their lives put themselves more at risk for this condition.
Aside from aging and inactivity/lack of physical fitness (sarcopenia typically appears around the age of 45 onwards), there are a couple of other causes that contribute to developing the loss of lean muscle mass. Maintaining poor nutrition is one factor that can lead to this condition, due to the fact that not consuming the right food items for proper energy intake means the body is not up to par on its protein and calorie levels, which negatively affects the muscles. Low levels of testosterone and fluctuations in estrogen levels have also been linked to sarcopenia.
So what can you do to decrease your chances of losing your lean muscle mass over the years? Physical fitness on a regular basis is the obvious solution, aside from healthy eating habits. When putting together your workout routine, make sure to include plenty of resistance training, which targets the muscles and strengthens them and repairs any muscle damage caused during the workout. Although causing “damage” to the muscles may seem like the opposite of a solution, resistance training actually helps the muscles become stronger each time it heals itself from the damage of microscopic tears.
Adding resistance training to your existing workout regimen is crucial to maintaining top health in your 30s, 40s and beyond. Some ideal resistance training exercises you’ll want to look into as a way to keep sacropenia at bay include abdominal crunches, lying leg curls, back squats and close grip bench presses. If you are new to the whole concept of putting together a workout routine, visit your local gym and get together with a personal trainer. Let them know you are interested in resistance training and they will set you on the right path.
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