Managing Sarcopenia with Exercise

What is Sarcopenia?

Sarcopenia is defined as the gradual reduction in skeletal muscle over a period of time. It is caused by an imbalance in the cells responsible for muscle growth as well as muscle breakdown. More commonly found in individuals over the age of 50, it shares similar characteristics to that of osteoporosis without the effect on the bone. Adults aged over 50 are prone to a 1% loss of skeletal tissue each year without any intervention.

Factors that can accelerate muscle loss include:

  • Physical inactivity (sedentary lifestyle)
  • Diet
  • Inflammation
  • Stress

Managing the effects of sarcopenia

The best way to fight the effects of sarcopenia is to keep your muscles active - if you dont use it you lose it! The best form of exercise in this scenario is resistance exercise. Resistance exercise places tension on your muscle fibers resulting in growth signals that leads to increased strength. These signals cause the muscle to break down and repair itself ongoing - serving as the best form of activity to build muscle mass and reduce its loss!

 

Article written and sourced by Jake Mavin, Exercise Physiologist at Kieser Pymble.

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