Thoughts on Better Aging

Maintaining Muscle Strength Vital for Healthy Aging

July 11th, 2014

Testosterone therapy can support efforts to maintain muscle mass.

As men age, metabolic and hormonal changes make it more difficult to maintain muscle mass while keeping body fat at bay. This is much more than a cosmetic problem. The loss of muscle mass, muscle quality, and overall strength is actually a medical condition known as sarcopenia. This condition often leads to decline in physical activity and results in mobility issues, falls, hospitalization, and even long term nursing home stays.

According to Nathen LeBrasseur, a researcher at the Muscle Performance and Physical Function Laboratory and the Healthy Aging and Independent Living Initiative at Mayo Clinic, the average person loses 30 percent of their muscle mass during their lifetime. Some individuals lose as much as 50 percent by the time they reach age 80 or 90.

Three Ways to Fight Muscle Loss

Researchers are currently investigating medications that could help combat sarcopenia by blocking myostatin, the protein that naturally curbs muscle growth. Fortunately, men don’t have to wait for this research to get completed in order to fight back against sarcopenia. Here are three excellent ways to maintain muscle as you age.

Healthy Diet

According to the nonprofit Society on Sarcopenia, Cachexia, and Wasting Disorders, up to 35 percent of men over 50 do not get their daily recommended amount of protein in their diet. Based on a growing body of research on lean protein consumption in older adults, the Society recommends that older men eat 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight. The Society also recommends that older men get more Vitamin D in their diets, as low Vitamin D has been associated with low muscle strength.

Exercise

It’s simple common sense that exercise helps maintain muscle mass, quality, and strength. Yet LeBrasseur says that 60 percent of seniors are not getting enough basic exercise. Recently, a study that appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed just how helpful exercise is to maintaining mobility and independence as we age. It showed that when a group of at-risk seniors adopted an exercise program, the onset of major disability was reduced by 18 percent over 2.5 years.

Testosterone Treatment

The term sarcopenia was only introduced in the late 1980s, and the complex factors affecting this condition are still not entirely understood by the medical community. However, researchers do agree that decreasing amounts of testosterone in men affect their ability to maintain quality muscle mass. By using bioidentical hormone treatment to raise testosterone back to healthy levels while also bringing other vital hormones into balance, men can improve their body’s ability to maintain a healthy metabolism as well as good muscle strength.

At Renew Man™, we provide the guidance men need to combine diet, exercise, and hormone treatment into a program that helps maintain muscle and support healthy aging. Contact us today to get on the road to a stronger, healthier you.

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