Sarcopenia - Muscle Loss
Sarcopenia or age-related muscle loss is a natural part of getting older. Because people are living longer these days, sarcopenia is an increasingly prominent issue. Lost muscle mass does not have to be permanent, though, and it can be rebuilt and maintained with the right workout program.
One of the most researched causes of sarcopenia is neuromuscular degeneration. Normal aging is associated with progressive and permanent neuron loss, which, among other things, causes the denervation of muscle fibers. Muscle atrophy plays a role, as does an increase in fatty and connective tissues in the muscle fibers.
Sarcopenia is also caused by a decline in hormones, including testosterone and growth hormones. This decline leads to changes in body composition, like lower lean body mass and bone density. Aging has also been associated with high cortisol levels and vitamin D, which contribute to bone and muscle weakness. These changes lead to increased injuries and decreased activity, compounding muscle loss.
Inflammation and oxidative stress:
Inflammation and oxidative stress also contribute to sarcopenia. With aging comes a state of low-grade, chronic system inflammation that experts believe predisposes older people to muscle loss.
Sarcopenia affects older people in multiple ways and can greatly impact their mobility and quality of life. Less muscle mass means an increased risk of falls and fractures. People with sarcopenia have more than double the risk of a low-trauma fracture from a fall, including broken legs, hips, arms, and collarbones.
Lifestyle increase the risk of Sarcopenia:
Treatment for sarcopenia focuses on behavioral changes. Aging often leads to a reduction in appetite that results from many factors, like a decreased sensitivity to taste and smell or worsening GI problems. A decline in food intake, especially protein, contributes to the development and severity of sarcopenia. Physical inactivity will of course accelerate the effects of sarcopenia.
To stay safe and avoid injuries, doing long sets, slowly, of a lot of reps with a light weight or light resistance is the way to go. You will stay safe and will bring a lot of blood flow to your muscles, which will increase their density. You want to feel a slow and long burn inside the muscles. Having muscle soreness the days after is usually a good sign.