Today, Longevity Exercise Physiology Drummoyne, EdgecliffMarrickvilleBella VistaRandwick, PymbleBalmain and Neutral Bay  discuss how Exercise plays a critical role in preventing the detrimental effects of Sarcopenia and Frailty.

Sarcopenia is a Latin word which means “Poverty of Flesh”.  It is defined as:

“A decline in muscle function associated with a loss of muscle mass.”

Sarcopenia is a consequence of a range of factors:

  • Physical Activity,
  • Nutritional status,
  • Genetic Heritability
  • Hormonal changes
“Sarcopenia is a major cause of Frailty. Frailty is an age-related medical condition that leads to a high risk for falls, disability, hospitalisation, reduced quality of life, and mortality among older adults.”

Unfortunately, research shows that Sarcopenia is extremely prevalent, and there is evidence of increments of 60-70% in prevalence of Sarcopenia by 2045. This would result in 13-22% of people aged 65 years of age and older being affected.

How do I know if I have Sarcopenia?

A health professional such as an Exercise Physiologist can assess your strength and function. You can also get a DEXA scan to measure your muscle mass. Please note: It is not just ‘frail looking’ individuals – it’s possible to be obese and sarcopenic. This is because you can be overweight but still have low muscle mass and function.

What can you do to treat, manage and prevent Sarcopenia?

Address the modifiable factors above: Physical activity and nutritional status.

“Progressive Resistance Training is the most effective treatment for Sarcopenia because it reverses both the loss of muscle mass and function.”

This training involves strength training where you incrementally increase the load and volume of each exercise, as your strength increases over a period of training. You should seek supervision from an Accredited Exercise Physiologist for this training.

In terms of nutrition, make sure that you are having the adequate amount of dietary protein and dietary energy intake. Malnutrition is highly prevalent in the older population. You should seek advice from a Dietician for dietary advice.

The National Strength and Conditioning Association states that for people who are frail, a properly designed resistance training program,

  • Is safe for healthy, older adults.
  • Can counteract age-related changes in contractile function, atrophy (loss of muscle) and morphology of ageing human skeletal muscle.
  • Can enhance the muscular strength, power and neuromuscular functioning of older adults.
  • Can improve mobility, physical functioning, performance in activities of daily living and preserve the independence of older adults.
  • Can improve an older adult’s resistance to injuries and catastrophic events such as falls.
  • Can help improve the psychosocial well-being of older adults

If you or someone you know of could benefit from a supervised exercise program call Longevity Exercise Physiology Edgecliff, Pymble, Marrickville, Randwick, Drummoyne, Balmain, Bella Vista and Neutral Bay on 1300 964 002 to enquire today!

 

Written by Ryan Hebrow

 

References:

  • Lera, L., Albala, C., Sánchez, H., Angel, B., Hormazabal, M. J., Márquez, C., & Arroyo, P. (2017). Prevalence of sarcopenia in community-dwelling Chilean elders according to an adapted version of the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP) criteria. J Frailty Aging, 6(1), 12-17.
  • Beaudart, C., Zaaria, M., Pasleau, F., Reginster, J. Y., & Bruyère, O. (2017). Health outcomes of sarcopenia: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PloS one, 12(1), e0169548.
  • Fragala, M. S., Cadore, E. L., Dorgo, S., Izquierdo, M., Kraemer, W. J., Peterson, M. D., & Ryan, E. D. (2019). Resistance training for older adults: position statement from the national strength and conditioning association. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research33(8).
  • Cadore, E. L., Rodríguez-Mañas, L., Sinclair, A., & Izquierdo, M. (2013). Effects of different exercise interventions on risk of falls, gait ability, and balance in physically frail older adults: a systematic review. Rejuvenation research16(2), 105-114.