Sarcopenia Prevention Tips
Sarcopenia is a condition that can be defined as a loss of lean muscle mass and strength, causing a decrease in the ability to perform activities of daily living (Thompson, 2007). While this condition tends to be more prevalent in elderly populations, it can be also brought on by extended periods of immobility, or can be induced by disease, and drug use.
Global Prevalence and Associated Risks
The number of people suffering from sarcopenia worldwide is currently estimated to be between 321 million, and 799 million. Sarcopenia is also linked to an increased risk of falls in the elderly, difficulty recovering from illness, and the prolongation of hospital stays.
Sarcopenia and Frailty
Sarcopenia and its progression correspond directly with frailty in elderly populations. One of the leading treatments to prevent and reduce the effects of sarcopenia is and increase physical activity. Resistance training, aerobic exercise, and balance training have all been shown to be successful in improving functional status in patients (Colleluori and Villareal, 2021).
Combining Exercise Methods for Best Results
It was also demonstrated that combinations of these training methods are also effective, with a combination of Resistance training and Aerobic training to yield the best results in restoring function. Alongside the benefits physical activity possesses when treating sarcopenia, it also is deeply associated with a decrease in cardiometabolic risks related to obesity, which is one of the leading comorbidities related to sarcopenia.
Combining Physical Activity with Nutrition
While an increase in physical activity has been shown to be effective and yields good results, there is also the possibility that when applied in combination with nutritional interventions, it could yield greater results. Registered Dietitian, Sonja Lynch (www.what2eat.ie) has some useful advice on nutrition to help increase muscle mass or at the very least, slow down its loss.
Sarcopenia as a Comorbidity
Although sarcopenia is more prevalent in elderly and inactive populations, it is not exclusively limited to those people. Sarcopenia can accompany a variety of other illnesses and diseases as a prevalent comorbidity.
Physical Activity and Cardiometabolic Risks
Alongside the previously mentioned obesity, sarcopenia is also common in patients suffering from cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, diabetes, and dementia (Pacifico et al, 2020). As such, “one-size-fits-all” physical activity programs may not be suitable for some patients suffering from sarcopenia, as modifications may have to be made to suit the individual patient.
Prevention through Healthy Lifestyle Choices
Sarcopenia is a disease that is extremely common in modern times and is only becoming more common. However, by living a healthy life with a well-balanced diet and regular physical activity, sarcopenia and many of its comorbidities can be avoided. In order to prevent the further rise in prevalence of sarcopenia, we must pay attention to how we age, and aim to do so as healthily as possible.
PMC Physio Dunboyne recommendation
If you are interested in a customised strength and conditioning programme tailored to your lifestyle needs or you are concerned about loss of muscle mass, contact one of our specialised physios at PMC Physiotherapy Dunboyne.
PMC Physiotherapy Clinic, Unit 36, Dunboyne Business Park, Dunboyne, Co Meath
01 8253 997