As much as we despise growing old, aging is a natural process. There are many age related effects that we encounter such as muscle loss, fatigue, reduced bone density and strength. Despite this, there are many lifestyle changes we can make so as to reduce these negative effects.
Aging is not all bad – take George Clooney for instance. Unfortunately, we are not all blessed with Clooney’s rugged features. There are certain aspects of aging that we prefer to avoid, namely reduced bone density and sarcopenia.
Sarcopenia is the process of muscle mass loss that occurs as we age. This loss results in reduced strength and fatigue with activities we take for granted such as taking the dog for a walk or hanging the washing on the line. Muscle that is lost is then replaced with fat and connective tissue which do not have contractile properties to generate force and power with movement. A sedentary lifestyle can accelerate this because there is no longer a stimulus to encourage muscle growth and maintenance.
Despite this, there is hope!
The decline in muscle mass secondary to aging can be reduced through regular exercise. Long-term strength training programs have been shown to be an effective method for reducing the age related effects of sarcopenia. It is possible to reduce, and even stop, age related muscle mass decline through specifically tailored strength programs.
Ways in which you could reduce the negative effects of aging include:
- Avoiding a sedentary lifestyle
- Daily walking
- Perform regular strength exercises at home
- Clinical Pilates
- Improved nutritional intake
Here at Watsonia Physiotherapy we strongly encourage people of all ages to get out there and get moving. We can tailor exercise programs to suit your level of function and lifestyle to achieve your goals. This can either be through a tailored home exercise program or Clinical Pilates.
To get you on track to improved strength and better muscle function, give us a call on 9434 3338.