Before we get into the ways to prevent sarcopenia, let’s talk about what exactly is sarcopenia. Sarcopenia literally translates to “lack of flesh” and is termed as a muscle loss condition that mostly affects people above the age of 50. Sarcopenia occurs when the specific signals for muscle cell growth and teardown are not balanced, causing the muscle to grow weak over time. For loved ones who are suffering from sarcopenia, they’ll find themselves getting so physically weak to the point of not being able to carry familiar items, walking slowly, and becoming tired easily. As you can see from the effects, sarcopenia can hinder everyday life and in severe cases, threaten life expectancy. As such, it’s crucial to know how to prevent sarcopenia or slow down the onset of it.
Have a Nutritionally Adequate Diet
It’s a no-brainer that everyone requires a healthy diet in order to be physically fit. If your loved ones do not have a sufficient intake of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, they are at a higher risk of developing sarcopenia. We recommend adopting a diet rich in protein, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and creatine for loved ones who are constantly weak and looking to prevent sarcopenia. Protein is directly responsible for muscle strength and can be found in foods such as meat, fish, and eggs. These foods also contain a high amount of vitamin D, which is naturally produced in the body when it is exposed to sunlight. Creatine has also been discovered to help muscle growth.
There’s no doubt walking is the most accessible sport when it comes to building muscle mass. There’s no need for any gym equipment and everyone can participate in this activity, from active older adults to loved ones who aren’t as physically fit. If your loved ones do not partake in sports often, we recommend starting by walking at a moderate pace before gradually increasing the speed. The distance can also be increased by 10% each time when your loved ones are ready to take it up a notch. In order to change the routine every once in a while, your loved ones can consider climbing up stairs and walking up or down hills.
Participate in Resistance Training
Resistance training isn’t for everyone, so make sure your loved ones are able to put their bodies under such stress. If your loved ones are not physically or mentally prepared, they can further damage their bodies, which can be detrimental to their overall health and mobility. Resistance training activities include weightlifting, squats, and push-ups. When your loved ones take part in resistance training, they’re putting tension on the muscles, which sends growth signals that eventually lead to increased strength.
Be it jogging or playing tennis, exercise is the best and most effective way to prevent sarcopenia. Exercise can be described as any activity that raises the heart level and pushes the body to produce sweat. Similar to other fitness activities, we recommend your loved ones to start small before progressing onto more vigorous workouts. For example, your loved ones can begin by partaking in exercises two to three times a week before moving on to five times a week.