We are all getting older-there is nothing we can do about that. However, there are many things we can do to make sure that we are living well into our middle and later years. Taking the steps to combat the effects of sarcopenia is one of the most important things you can do.
As a physical therapist, my goal is to help people improve the length of their health span-how many years they live healthy. It should be a goal of all of us to not just live long, but to live long well. Unfortunately, the effects of sarcopenia can have a negative effect on our ability to do that. if you are a middle-aged athlete, you may find you cannot run as fast or long as you used to, the power you produce with cycling is not what you used to be able to put out, or things that used to be easy to lift when you are younger are now more challenging. As an older adult, you may find getting up stairs our out of chairs is harder. Maybe you walk slower and your balance is a bit off. What's worse is that if you have been laid up because of pain, injury, illness, or surgery you have likely noticed that many of the things you used to do are harder (or you can's do them at all!).
The good news is that the effects of sarcopenia can be slowed down and even reversed-no matter how old you are. This can be accomplished by making sure that strength training is a consistent part of your weekly routine. It is so important that I make sure that every person that I work with is set up on a program to make sure they are doing something to improve their muscle mass and strength.
Sarcopenia sounds scary-and it is if you do nothing about it! With the right guidance, exercise programming, and motivation, you can however, limit its effects. If you have questions or need help getting started, do not hesitate to reach out for help, and we can work together to find a program that works for you-no matter where you are starting from.
Thanks for reading,