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What is Sarcopenia?

The progressive involuntary loss of muscle and function in the human body.

Sarcopenia is a muscle disease. Starting from the age of 30. 3 to 5% of muscle mass each decade, loss occurs even in active men.

Speeds up in your sixties and turbocharges in your seventies. This can be as high as 10-15% in leg strength, increasing to 25-40% after 70.

Infographic - Sarcopenia

Sarcopenia avoidance

So as a result of sarcopenia, by the age of fifty you could be up to 6 to 10% of your muscle mass down on average, more in the legs and growing.

Do we have your attention?

Not great news for old bulls we admit, it gets worse as you age and avoiding it means avoiding longer term care and mobility issues with the real risks coming in later in life due to falls etc.

Sarcopenia is a major factor in the development of frailty, and this will affect your quality of life.

Graph - Muscle Gap

Muscle loss due to aging

Where do you want to site on this graph? That is up to you!

What does this mean?

  • Age related declines in hormones e.g. testosterone and human growth hormone all contribute to maintenance and rebuilding of muscles, these drop so does your muscle mass.
  • Insulin resistance resulting in visceral fat mass 
  • Decline in neurons in spinal cord, reduced functions underlies reduced muscle strength, size and mass.

Do you have it?

  • Do you battle to get out of the car and I'm talking low sports cars?
  • Can you stand up quickly after watching TV, and sit down and stand up again?
  • Difficulty in lifting and carrying weights?
  • Climbing a flight of stairs?

Check out a questionnaire from ResearchGate here. Most Australians haven't heard of Sarcopenia, but it is real, it will make you weak, affect your quality of life and as such you should take active steps to avoid it, now!

Stay Stronger for Longer

  1. Physical exercise including resistance training.
  2. Healthy diet paired with proteins.
  3. Weight management

Other considerations are testosterone supplements, growth hormones and ensuring you do exercise and get sufficient protein to support your muscles.

Strength training is an effective intervention for improving strength, muscle mass and quality and delaying the onset. Sex and genetics will impact on the response to strength training but unless you have been advised against strength training by a medical professional with knowledge of your case you really should just get on with it and delay the loss of muscle and improve your future quality of life prospects.

Don't forget the protein, check out how much to take here first, specifically leucine to help you synthesize muscle and stay stronger for longer.


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