As a personal trainer in the Sydney CBD, a primary concern amongst clients that I am often asked about is “how do I maintain a healthy physique for the long term." There are short term goals and long term goals and in this post I would like to address the topic of age-related sarcopenia (otherwise known as age-related muscle loss) which would fall into the ‘long term’ goal category.
Everyone should be concerned about this topic because it will affect us all at some point in our lives. The widely accepted view is that throughout our youth we develop and grow muscle mass and strength until the age of 30. After this time it all starts to go down hill and we begin to lose muscle mass at a rate of 0.5% - 1% per year thereafter.
Age-related sarcopenia is concerning because our ability to maintain independence and fully participate in our lives is inextricably linked to our amount of usable muscle tissue. Sarcopenia has even been linked to early mortality.
Exercise has been shown, in animal models, to drastically affect the onset and severity of sarcopenia. Although it is not unavoidable altogether, performing training specific to prevent the loss of muscle mass is a must for everyone, especially those over the age of 30.
Furthermore, taking a brief look at the general public in the Sydney CBD, many people under the age of 30 should also be looking to increase their levels of lean, usable muscle mass. Peak bone density is inversely related to risk of developing osteoporosis in older age. Therefore the stronger, or more dense you can get your bones by performing weights exercises whilst you are in your 20’s and 30’s, the less likely you are to develop osteoporosis when you are older. Regular exercise is something we all need, it is as important as a good diet and enough sleep. It is an absolute necessity to add exercise to our regular routines to perform at our best and ensure we can actually enjoy our lives as we age through our 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and beyond.
We all need to make time to exercise and ensure that we stay healthy as we age. And we are all in the same boat - so get rowing!