Health & Fitness Articles

Thanks for visiting my health and fitness articles page. These articles cover a variety of topics such as workout routines, general health, fitness, nutrition, chronic disease and anti-aging strategies. These articles are published in 5 local newspapers in Georgia and are uploaded here the following Monday after each print publication.
I wish you the best in health and fitness~
Wade Yoder, Master Trainer & Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Sarcopenia = Age related muscle loss

Sarcopenia = Age related muscle loss

 Sarcopenia: from the Greek meaning "poverty of flesh" is the degenerative loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength associated with aging. 


 The study of sarcopenia really intrigued me when I read the book Bio Markers, on how you can control the aging process. A lot of the normal signs that we have accepted as being a part of the aging process, (such as slowing metabolism, muscle loss, skeletal and cardiovascular weaknesses), often have more to do with inactivity and diet causing muscle loss, then it does with aging. Research shows that one of the first signs of the aging process is a loss of protein (muscle) in the body. The two main contributing factors to this loss of muscle (sarcopenia) is simply, inactivity and diet. So it’s quite simple to slow down and even reverse the symptoms of aging, through our diet and lifting weights. The body builds itself up to counter increased demands!

 Over the past 20 plus years in the fitness business, I have seen a lot of difference (in how the aging process is offset) when individuals adapt a consistent, active lifestyle that keeps both mind and body challenged. Challenging our body and mind to new things can really go a long way in helping us to sidestep mental and physical deterioration in our latter years!  

 This is a quote from Miriam Nelson, a professor of nutrition at Tufts University; “A 70-year-old active individual is probably younger from a biomarker standpoint - muscle strength, balance, body composition, blood pressure, cholesterol levels - than a 40-year-old inactive person.” This means we can literally turn back the clock on things that have aged our body, through simple rejuvenating changes to our lifestyle!

 Preventing sarcopenia: we can counter the shrinking muscle mass, decreased bone density, and weakening of our cardiovascular system, using two primary tools, (exercise and our diet) and in many cases can make things much better. When you feel and look better then you did in 5-10-15- and even 20 years, it can really make you feel like you’re winding back the clock! There are some simple guides below to protect you against sarcopenia and shrinkage of life… 

 How muscle grows: the muscle building process is simply a response to muscle straining against a heavier load then it is used to. This causes small microscopic tears in the muscle fibers, which in turn places an order to the rebuilding system of our body, to patch up these little micro tears with amino acids (from the protein in our diet), thus building a new and stronger muscle!

Our body breaks down protein into amino acids to rebuild and patch up our broken down muscle, and this is the reason we need to increase the protein in our diet, especially when we exercise or do things that cause physical strain to our bodies.  

 Bone density: though bone density is not a part of the meaning of sarcopenia, our reversal of sarcopenia (muscle building or rebuilding) can have a direct impact on new gains in bone density as well. Just like skeletal muscle, “when greater workloads are applied to bones, joints, and tendons, our body recognizes the need for stronger bones and connective tissue.

 Cardiopulmonary strength: when we increase our muscle strength, it should also have a direct impact on creating better blood flow as well as strengthening our vital organs and the overall physiological functions of our body. When we have better flow of nutrients to the various parts of our body, things will start waking up like the plants in a garden do after a nice spring rain!

 Our body builds what we tell it to, but also shrinks what we tell it to, and we speak these instructions to our body through activity or inactivity as well as what we choose for food and drink. We not only are what we eat, we also become what we do with what we eat! 

 We oft times complain about health, physical appearance and physical capabilities, when we’re actually the one telling our body how to behave through our lifestyle habits.

 When we place a consistent demand (with slow increases over time), on our skeletal muscle as well as our cardiovascular system we can prevent a lot of this lifestyle related shrinkage of muscle size, strength and endurance. The cardiovascular (endurance) part seems to gradually improve, as we’re able to do these exercises more vigorously. 

Resistance training with free weights: this helps increase strength and balance. Do exercises that involve several muscle groups (compound movements). Compound movements get your muscles trained to work together as they become stronger. Start off with gradual increases and chart your progress. This really adds up when multiplied by the month and then by the year(s)! 

Nutrition: Increase protein and fat intake, (this increases our capability to build muscle and hormones), eat more dark colored vegetables, and eat your fruits in the early part of the day. Avoid starches and sugars, especially with high fat meals. Include plenty of nuts and beans in your diet.  

 When demand is placed against it, our body is designed to become stronger to accommodate these new stressors, whether in muscular, skeletal or in cardiovascular fitness!

 Staying strong helps match your health span to your life span.

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