Are you losing your muscles?
What is Sarcopenia?
As we get older, our biological clock starts to slow down the cells, leading to aging. When our body starts to age, this is due to Sarcopenia – a medical term for age-related muscle loss. While we try to prevent it, it will happen to all of us in varying degrees, mostly depending on how active we are.
I spoke with Dr. Evan Osar, an integrative movement specialist and chiropractor who works with fitness and medical professionals on mobility, chronic pain, and other issues. He is also a friend and colleague through the Functional Aging Institute.
“It is shocking to me to see the dramatic change that 10 months of inactivity due to the pandemic can cause,” says Dr. Evan Osar,
Loss of muscle mass contributes to a range of problems that can be common later in life. And unfortunately, after a year of the pandemic, this has become all too common around the world.
"Sarcopenia - Dr. Osar explains, is like the old adage, if you don’t use it, you lose it" – and that is so true.
It starts in our 30's
In the first three decades or so of life, our muscles get bigger and stronger. But then, just as human beings, we start losing muscle mass and function – about 5 percent of it each decade, again depending on how active we stay through life and our choices of physical activity.
“By your 60's, you could’ve lost 9 to 25 percent of your muscle mass,” Dr. Osar says.
Why should the average person care about losing muscle? Isn’t that just for bodybuilders and athletes?
Absolutely not. Losing muscle contributes to falls and fractures, and it reduces our strength and mobility for tasks of everyday life. Less muscle can mean more body aches and pains, poor posture, and more trouble.
As WebMD puts it: “Symptoms can include weakness and loss of stamina, which can interfere with physical activity. Reduced activity further shrinks muscle mass.”
Even active, healthy people lose muscle mass – but it is made worse when we stop moving, as so many people have done for the last year.
“And now we are seeing people who have not left their homes for the last year, so think about how their health is deteriorating just in these last months,” Dr. Osar says. “A year after Covid-19 started, think about the obesity, diabetes, the cardiovascular… let alone the sarcopenia.”
Exercise offers strength, relief, and balance.
In short, without enough muscle, we will not be able to enjoy life as we would like to – from sitting and standing to playing with grandkids, to riding a bike, boating, etc.
Resistance training is an essential part of the solution.
“Exercise, in particular resistance training, reduces injury and death across the board,” Dr. Osar says.
He is not alone, of course. I have always been a firm believer that weight training is crucial in any exercise program.
Countless studies show this to be a simple fact. If you exercise regularly with resistance, you will have more muscle mass to feel, move and look better.
It is that simple.
And after the last year we all have had, it is never been more important. Do not shrink from life. Enjoy it as much as possible. Get moving! We are here to help, no matter how active you were before or during the pandemic.
It is AFTER that counts now!
Give us a call, or send us an email. We would be thrilled to have you join our family of healthy clients!