I’ve been fairly fascinated by the topics of nutrition, exercise and health in general for pretty much my entire adult life.  Way back when, I remember my mother taking me to health food stores, way before they were around much and actually were thought of as, well, a little weird and inhabited by “health nuts.”

When I was 20, I started reading about the power in eating fresh, healthy and unprocessed foods, what supplements could do, and the benefits of regular exercise.  Having been no stranger to junk food when I was younger, it didn’t take long for me to notice that the better I ate, the better I felt and looked. I started running regularly and it d

What does this have to do with sarcopenia?  I had never heard of it until I came across an article that discussed it recently.  Before I go further, here’s the National Institute of Health definition: 

“Sarcopenia is a condition characterized by loss of skeletal muscle mass and function. Although it is primarily a disease of the elderly, its development may be associated with conditions that are not exclusively seen in older persons. Sarcopenia is a syndrome characterized by progressive and generalized loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength and it is strictly correlated with physical disability, poor quality of life and death. Risk factors for sarcopenia include age, gender and level of physical activity. In conditions such as malignancy, rheumatoid arthritis and aging, lean body mass is lost while fat mass may be preserved or even increased. The loss in muscle mass may be associated with increased body fat so that despite normal weight there is marked weakness, this is a condition called sarcopenic obesity. There is an important correlation between inactivity and losses of muscle mass and strength, this suggests that physical activity should be a protective factor for the prevention but also the management of sarcopenia. Furthermore, one of the first steps to be taken for a person with sarcopenia or clinical frailty is to ensure that the sarcopenic patient is receiving correct and sufficient nutrition. Sarcopenia has a greater effect on survival. It should be important to prevent or postpone as much as possible the onset of this condition, to enhance survival and to reduce the demand for long-term care. Interventions for sarcopenia need to be developed with most attention on exercise and nutritional interventions.”

I don’t know about you, but the thought of physical frailty or disability as I age about sends me into orbit, especially if I know that it’s preventable.  It’s always been a priority to me to be strong and independent, so I wanted to learn more.

Of course, I looked online and there’s lots of information there.  I also started reading Choosing the Strong Path, by Denver attorney Fred Bartlit, who is in his late 80’s, and is still active skiing and working out regularly. Bartlit’s definition of sarcopenia is age-related decline of muscle mass and strength loss that causes frailty as we get older. 

The answer, according to Bartlit and pretty much all of the online resources I found, is exercise, specifically, strength training using weights and resistance.  Bartlit advocates cardio and weight training, doing repetitions until failure. 

Given that most of us are living longer lives, the idea of living into our older years losing strength, mobility and independence, not to mention dealing with issues such as hypertension, osteoporosis, depression – all of which can be helped tremendously by regular exercise – is not someplace I want to go if I can help it. And I can, we all can.

If you’re inspired by this knowledge to take action, I highly recommend Bartlit’s book:  Choosing the Strong Path: Reversing the Downward Spiral of Aging, by Fred Bartlit, Steven Droullard, and Marni Boppart ScD.  If you’re someone who already has a regular exercise program, this book will motivate you to keep going.  If you’re someone who hasn’t been living an active lifestyle, it just might inspire you to start.

Thoughts?   Comment below or email me at suzanne@evergreenlifeandwellness.com.

For more information visit – https://strongpath.com; to purchase the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1626344760/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=stron02-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=1626344760&linkId=5a9e9c457e7c6ceb78c70f3a1e16eeed.

Categories: Wellness