As we get older, time can play all sorts of tricks on us. But when your posture starts to stoop, your ribs become sunken and the skin of your face begins to sag, one culprit may be most to blame: sarcopenia. This condition affects many people as they grow older, enfeebling the body as muscles wither and weaken.
Sarcopenia is a widespread issue, but it is not inevitable. With the help of anti-aging therapy in Ballantyne, Charlotte or Matthews and a lifestyle that promotes a strong body regardless of age, you can retain your muscles and fight off the many issues that accompany this troublesome condition.
The Science of Sarcopenia
Your body relies on essential and nonessential proteins to build muscles and keep them strong. Though essential protein comes from the food we eat, we create nonessential proteins within our bodies from amino acids. With time, the aging body becomes less able to synthesize these nonessential proteins, largely because of diminishing levels of testosterone and growth hormone.
Each of our bodies also undergoes a process called motor unit restructuring as we age. During motor unit restructuring, the neurons responsible for quick, dexterous movements die off, forcing the less-responsive slow twitch neurons to take on their former responsibilities. This can make many nimble actions more difficult.
Though sarcopenia is common and results from bodily changes that affect all of us, we don’t all have to suffer from the condition. Your body’s declining protein levels can be addressed with anti-aging therapy that diminishes the hormonal roots of the problem, while diet and exercise can also play an important role in keeping your strength. As an added bonus, habits like these can help with weight loss*, making them among the best choices for maintaining a healthy body with age:
- Resistance training. As the saying goes, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Sarcopenia is linked to inactivity, so be sure you’re continuing to engage and challenge your body’s muscles throughout your life. Studies show us that resistance training in middle age can stave off muscle loss later in life, while elderly people already experiencing sarcopenia can use resistance training to regrow muscle mass and reverse the condition’s effects. Though weightlifting and other resistance exercises can help with both anti-aging therapy and weight loss*, you should always check with Dr. Croland before beginning these activities to be sure they are safe for you.
- Eating more protein. Our bodies need more protein from our diets as we age. Increasing your protein intake can help you prevent muscle loss when combined with strength training, so be sure to eat a variety of lean protein sources like nuts, seeds, fish, chicken and beans.
Whether you’re already experiencing sarcopenia’s effects or hope to prevent it from being a part of your future, healthy habits like these can be a big help in fostering a strong and healthy body. Speak with Dr. Croland if you have any questions about maintaining muscle mass during anti-aging therapy.