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Avoiding the Loss of Muscle Mass Due to Sarcopenia
Getting older comes with a whole host of health challenges that can touch on every aspect of a person’s life, including even the simplest tasks. What the young take for granted – the ability to carry groceries, for instance – can start to seem like luxuries once the effects of aging start to set in. Few conditions underscore this issue like sarcopenia, the gradual loss of muscle mass that tends to accompany aging. Left unchecked, sarcopenia can slowly chip away at a person’s safety and independence, but unlike many other age-related health conditions, sarcopenia can be halted, or even reversed, given the proper lifestyle changes. If you or someone you know is interested in avoiding the loss of muscle mass due to sarcopenia, keep reading as the experts at ENU – makers of nutrition shakes for seniors – discuss this important topic.
How the Losing Muscle Mass from Sarcopenia Can Affect the Elderly
Given the prevalence of serious health conditions among the elderly, a slow decline in muscle mass may seem like a fairly minor issue, but the truth is just the opposite. As most people are aware, your muscle mass is what determines the amount of physical strength you possess; as the amount of muscle on your frame decreases, so does your strength.
Of course, most seniors have no designs on lifting weights or running marathons, but the loss of muscle mass due to sarcopenia can easily cut into even the most basic tasks, from running errands to taking the stairs or simply moving around the house. As sarcopenia starts to affect the strength in a person’s legs, their gait can change, inhibiting their overall independence and placing them at a greater risk of falling and seriously injuring themselves. When sarcopenia gets to the hands or arms, it can limit a person’s ability to carry objects or open containers.
By the time a person has reached age 70, they can lose as much as 1.5% of their overall muscle mass every year, or as much as 15% in a decade. Fortunately, the loss of muscle mass due to sarcopenia is an issue that can often be avoided; below, we’ll explore how to do just that.
Tips for Avoiding the Loss of Muscle Mass Caused by Sarcopenia
To fend off the symptoms of sarcopenia, it’s important to take action as early as possible to preserve as much of your muscle mass as possible. Doing so will likely require making a few lifestyle changes, but these solutions are easily accessible and quite affordable, plus they can go a long way toward preserving your health and independence for years to come. If you or someone you know is struggling with the loss of muscle mass due to sarcopenia, consider the following tips.
Although it’s tempting to take it easy as you reach your golden years, it’s important that you stay active – to some extent, at least – especially if you have to contend with sarcopenia. This could entail going on a regular walk around your neighborhood, enrolling in an exercise program at your local gym, or any other activity that gets you moving on a regular basis. The more you use your muscles, the more likely they are to stick around in spite of the effects of aging.
Although all forms of exercise can work the muscles and help battle sarcopenia, the best way to address the issue is with what’s called progressive resistance training – a specific type of weight training that starts with little to no weight and gradually increases the resistance. Research has consistently shown that this type of resistance training is most effective at stimulating muscle protein synthesis, the process by which the body makes new muscle tissue.
Since much of sarcopenia’s effects come down to the way the body’s muscle production slows with age, taking part in the kind of exercise known to boost that production can help stop sarcopenia in its tracks or even reverse its symptoms. Just make sure to consult with your doctor before starting an exercise program, and consider working with a trainer to devise a safe and effective routine.
Eat Plenty of Protein
Engaging in resistance exercise and staying active are both great ways to promote muscle growth, but it’s equally important to give your body the resources it needs to make those new tissues. When talking about muscle, protein is the key; the amino acids in protein can not only further stimulate muscle synthesis, but they also serve as the building blocks of new muscle cells.
Unfortunately, many seniors fail to get an adequate amount of protein in their diet each day, but ENU’s protein shakes for weight gain can help. Each shake offers 20 grams of protein from whey and soy isolates, two sources of complete protein that are easy to digest and effective at helping deal with sarcopenia. Try adding an ENU nutrition shake after a meal to boost your calorie and protein intake, or use one as a meal replacement shake to help with weight loss while improving muscle production.
Try an ENU Nutrition Shake and Avoid the Loss of Muscle Mass Due to Sarcopenia
Taken together, improved nutrition and regular exercise can do wonders for someone with sarcopenia. By adding an ENU shake or high-protein nutritional powder to your routine, you can get more of what your body needs to fight sarcopenia and maximize the benefits of your exercise routine. Learn more by visiting us online or calling (855) 266-6733 today.