Lanza Blog

SARCOPENIA: AN AGE OLD DILLEMMA. WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW. By James Lanza, CPFI

 

We all know about the common things that bother us when we get to a certain age. Arthritis. A real pain in the ass. Or knee. Or elbow. Or shoulder. We know what it is, we know what it does and we know how it feels. Osteoporosis. Loss of bone density. Same thing. We know all about it. And I can go on and on about the things that bother us that get the most press. Or have a big organization behind them.

But let us go to another part of the universe and talk about something that is just as big. Just as important. Just as serious as all of the illnesses you know about.

Sarcopenia. Loss of muscle tissue. According to statistics, Sarcopenia is, along with osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s, one of the most common reasons seniors wind up in nursing homes, not having the ability to care for themselves.

Studies show that Sarcopenia may affect about forty percent of people 80 and older. According to a study in the Times, about sixty percent of nursing home patients have Sarcopenia. Yet Sarcopenia remains virtually unknown among most Americans. As I indicated above, there are no campaigns, no public screenings, no “hot-off-the-line” drugs, and no movie star endorsements.

The scary thing is, Sarcopenia can be slowed, and even reversed through diet and exercise. Just as Osteoporosis can be reversed so can Sarcopenia. It’s just that people don’t know it.

Doctors typically do not discuss this illness with their patients even though it is a huge health care concern. And getting worse.

Sarcopenia usually appears after forty years old and accelerates after the age of seventy. One of the classic signs of Sarcopenia is having trouble getting out of a chair. When the muscle tissue starts to break down, the body becomes weak. Simple things like movement up and down, in and out become more difficult. And for those who have no one around to help them, nursing homes are the answer. Until now. Simple exercises are another answer.

I have quite a few seniors that I work with here at my studio. We work on balance, posture and of course resistance training. I have seen magnificent results with all of my clients. They move better and easier, they’re more comfortable going up and down stairs, getting in and out of the car and when it comes to the Grandkids, I picture a five year old saying “No more, Grandma, I need a break!”

We have a real epidemic in this country.. More than 63 million Americans are overweight, according to government data, and only 1 in 4 adults satisfies the minimum recommendation of 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week. These are alarming statistics. But here’s another one. Studies have been done on seniors over the age of seventy, and the results are incredible! After three months of exercise and weight training, blood pressure is lowered, bone density is increased and muscle tissue is developed.

Doctors once warned older adults against vigorous exercise, but now many promote the benefits against age related decline. It’s a proven method. It works.

So come in and talk to us. Sarcopenia. It’s not just your grandmother’s disease.

Thanks for listening and have a healthy day!

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