- Sarcopenia is an age-related condition that you are losing muscle mass and strength as you grow old.
- People who are doing aerobic or cardio exercises losing muscle mass compared to those who do strength training.
- Combining cardio and strength training is a way to go you shouldn’t be doing one or another.
Importance of muscle mass
When you sit in a chair you expend in a rough amount of energy somewhere around a calorie per minute.
With exercise, we can increase this by about 20% to 30%.
While you are sitting your muscle contribute about 30% of your energy. During exercise contributors of energy will increase up to 90%.
After we eat a meal about 80% of the energy that’s ingested in that meal is distributed to muscles.
In other words when we develop problems with maintaining/ developing muscles. It’s not surprising that we develop a range of diseases associated with that.
The strongest heart of the population has half the death rate of those who are weakest. In other words, if you preserve your muscle mass you have a greater chance of living.
Reason to lose muscle mass
In modern life now we are predisposed to being physically inactive.
We spend a large amount of our time in a sitting position.
So even if we do a half-hour of purposeful exercise first thing in the morning. we spent about 90% of our time in a seated position.
So one of the problems with sitting is that it is an independent risk factor for a majority of diseases.
Even if you do exercises if you do it in a single bout and you spend the rest of your day sitting. You might be called an active couch potato.
If you look at someone like this in the picture who tends to associate with inactivity and inappropriate diet with increased size
The actual fact is the muscles of individuals such as this guy are actually getting smaller and smaller and working less and less.
The word sarcopenia was invented in 1998 by Rosenberg. He calls this sarcopenia for loss of flesh.
Sarcopenia is defined as the age-related wasting of muscles and strength.
As we age we lose muscle mass and strength there is no way it’s inescapable its a fact that happens.
After the age of 30 we lose 3% to 8% of our muscle every decade.
Over the age of 65 it’s about 20% and over the age of 85 greater than half of the individuals have sarcopenia.
This is more dangerouse than sarcopenia
Mobilization and bed rest are more dangerous than sarcopenia.
So if you take young healthy males in their twenties , they need to take 10, 000 steps daily in order to stay healthy.
And if you take those people who are making those 10, 000 steps and reduce their activities.
By making them take elevators and making them take escalators, pushing around in wheelchairs, making them sit a lot more.
Their number of steps will reduce to 2000 they will lose about 5% of the muscle mass in space of 14 days.
So earlier they mention that usually, we lose about 3% to 8% per decade over the age of 30.
Now, these guys lose 5% of their muscle mass within 14 days. If an elderly person over the age of 70 is bedridden for ten days. they lose 10% to most of us.
Depending on the situation in as little as two weeks you can lose equivalent muscle mass of what would take a decade to lose.
How to avoid muscle mass lose
We want to avoid mobilization, we want to avoid bed rest and stay active.
So , how should we do this?
Typically what we are told is that we need to get out and walk more. We need to do half an hour of activity accumulated on a few different days of the week.
I’m going to tell you that’s probably not enough.
If we want to get bigger if we want to improve our strength and improve our muscles we have to lift weights.
Going out for a walk isn’t gonna make you stronger.
In fact, there is some evidence to say that people who are doing aerobic or cardio exercises are losing muscle mass compare to those who do strength training.
The other interesting thing is that when it comes to diseases like diabetes and obesity.
The most recent evidence would suggest that ita combined endurance and aerobic exercises that work.
You shouldn’t be doing one or the other, there should be a combination.
We need to prescribe exercise like we prescribed medicine so we shouldn’t just give everyone to the same medicine.
We should treat the individual and we should treat the condition.
So going out and doing 30 minutes of walking every day might not call it when it comes to people who have age-related muscle wasting.
Use it or lose it because muscle matters and only the strong survive.