ACTIVE AGING–Sarcopenia’s Enemy!

This blog was submitted by Julio A. Salado, a previous guest on Healthy by Nature. He is a popular fitness trainer in the Boston area as well as an author and an educator. I thought the topic was very important. Sarcopenia is the muscle wasting condition that is all too common with aging. Who wants to become frail?

The human body is a marvel of nature and is designed to adapt and move. Our introduction to movement begins when we are born by first being able to hold our head up, then rolling over, sitting up, crawling, squatting, and finally walking! 

Throughout each developmental phase, we progressively develop muscular strength and conditioning specific to a movement pattern. For example, crawling requires strength in the upper body, lower body, core, and stimulates brain activity. Similarly, the deep squat is a total body functional exercise that requires lower body and postural muscles and necessitates joint mobility and flexibility. 

As we move on to adolescence, the act of play becomes a training ground for muscular and cognitive development. Hanging from monkey bars strengthens our upper body, jumping and sprinting contributes to building the cardiovascular system, joint integrity and bone density. We may also get introduced to competitive sports or group activities that challenges both our physical potential and mental acuity. 

What I have described above is based on the S.A.I.D. principle: Specific Adaptation on Imposed Demands. Whether the activity is dumbbell training, calisthenics, swimming, or cycling, the body will change on a physiological and neurological level to adapt to the activity. 

We are hardwired to move because it is rooted in our species’ history. To understand the importance of moving, look back at the prehistoric age and you will realize how our species would have become extinct if we did not get moving!

The transition from teenage years to adult life brings changes that may limit our physical activity; studying, commuting, family and work demands to name a few. For some us, we’ve had to postpone or limit our own workouts but may experience gentle reminders to initiate and commit to a fitness program. Some signs could be recurring low back pain from playing with the kids, getting winded taking the stairs at work, weight gain or having a family history of high blood pressure.

Thus, we experience the downside of inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle, namely the loss of muscle strength and muscle wasting also known as Sarcopenia. Over time, muscle loss may get progressively worse and affects quality of living, especially as we age.

The good news is that the body has an innate ability to rejuvenate!  

Sarcopenia can be addressed at any age through a safe and result driven strength regimen.  

Health related benefits of resistance training:

  • Increase metabolism. Yes, you can increase your metabolism by building muscle. You will also burn more calories at rest.
  • Injury prevention. Building muscle is conducive to bone density and joint integrity.
  • Fall prevention. As you strength train, you will develop motor skills and improve balance.
  • Brain plasticity. Exercising with weights stimulates brain activity.
  • Self-empowerment and confidence to resume or explore new activities.

You’ve heard the old saying, “Age is nothing but a number”. Your chronological age does not reflect your ability to work effectively towards building a stronger and fitter you. 

Whether you have previous experience in exercise or are new to fitness, just like when you were a baby, let’s take first steps toward your goal while developing skills and lifestyle changes conducive to long term results.

There is no better time than now to experience the benefits of strength training, the secret weapon for anti-ageing.

Need some inspiration? Here’s a twenty second video clip of 89 year old pulling a sled and using battle ropes!  YouTube Video Link: https://youtu.be/_yVybryHiWY

To get started with exercises, please visit my YouTube Channel. I have over 175+ exercise videos and Playlist for Over 40,50,60,70,80+ years of age!  Link: https://www.youtube.com/fitnessfoundry



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