We are not entirely sure what actually blesses our life with longevity. Yes, we are able to determine some factors via science, plus life expectancy is constantly on the rise, but there still isn’t a tool which can accurately measure our expiry date, or pinpoint the exact time of our death, technically speaking. However, there have been loads of surveys which tell us that almost every single person in the world doesn’t want to know how long it will take him or her to kick the bucket to begin with.
It is that unyielding dilemma which forces us to find ways to extend our vitality as much as we possibly can, so we resort to all manner of methods to keep our skin young and our bodies stout. And what is the first sign of aging? Well, apart from the laugh lines, the crow’s feet, and other hints, there is a medical condition which easily signifies the decline of health – sarcopenia. It is a slow and gradual loss of both skeletal and muscle mass which starts to kick in after the age of 30. Sadly, no one is exempt from this natural physiological change, and it is not pathological like a disease or syndrome, but there are ways to suppress its effects and hold the beast at bay, nevertheless.
You’ve probably seen or heard about elderly people up to the age of 100 who have either finished a marathon, maintained a buff, chiseled body, done an amazing athletic feat, or just defied their impending frailty by tirelessly working on their physique and keeping in shape. Honestly, whenever you witness something like that, the hat goes instantly down. We can all learn a thing or two from such experiences, so let’s see exactly how fitness prevents sarcopenia.
The slow decay known as bone loss speeds up for both men and women during mid-life. Now, it is not something you should be scared of, considering that it is a natural occurrence, but you should tackle it head on and postpone its effects instead. Remember, we are talking about your body here, so you have all the threads to pull in your favor. For most women, increased bone loss ensues after menopause, because that is when estrogen levels drop sharply. It is said that women ages 65 to 70 who experience a fracture around the hip-joint are five times more likely to die within a year than women of the same age who don’t experience a fracture around the hip-joint. As for men, well, their skeleton is larger, loss starts later and progresses more slowly, and they do not have a period of rapid hormonal change, but that does not exempt them from the condition.
By the time we reach our seventies, we lose a tad more than half of our muscle mass, which explains why we feel weak and easily tire as we age. This is the main reason why strength training can prevent this occurrence, which not only keeps your muscles active and dense, but it also helps slow down the process of bone loss, too. A study has been conducted showing that postmenopausal women, who took part in a strength-training program for just one year, noticed significant improvement of their spine and hip – something which sarcopenia devours if allowed. Men (and women) who lift steel will experience a rise in testosterone levels, which is crucial for building lean mass and boosting metabolic activity. Working on your physique despite your age can greatly influence your body’s recovery, so do not shy away from breaking a sweat every now and then.
Utilize an effective strength training program and develop a diet
Two types of training are essential while creating your own strength training program. One of them is aerobic exercises, but they are not enough for maintaining an aging adults’ health. That is why resistance exercises or weight training is necessary to complete the program which will help defy aging. Apart from enhancing metabolic rate, such a combination of trainings also improve posture, immune response, and bone strength. There is even a new research which states that working on your body also helps battle cancer and heart disease. So if you want to prepare your body against slow degeneration, make sure to find a routine which suits you first, and just go one step at a time.
Diet is also a necessary part in this battle, because it supplies your body with much needed nutrients which will enable you to endure all your hardships and help improve your results. Remember, the building block of muscle mass is protein, so aim to eat a meal at least once a day which has adequate amounts of this macronutrient, crucial for muscle cell regeneration. Also, do not hesitate to supply yourself with bodybuilding supplements, because they provide you with much needed nutrients that cannot be easily found in everyday meals.
The digital world in which we live right now doesn’t require us to move, to be active, if we are to get some things done. That may be the downside, but it is not all that gloomy. Laziness is a condition that can be easily treated. Some people may just need a good old push to go out and actually do something with themselves and their bodies. Still, technology has enabled us to discuss all manner of things, even if it may be an inevitable little beast like sarcopenia, but at least we can all exchange our experiences and figure out what we can actually do about it. Trainings will pay off if you stay the course and remain diligent. What is most important is to just keep moving and staying alive.
Mathews McGarry is passionate about many forms of strength training, and spent years lifting, dragging and flipping all manner of heavy objects. After graduating from the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Sydney, he started writing about his experiences, and sharing tips for better life. Follow him on Twitter.