Use it or Lose it!
We’ve all heard the saying but what is ‘it’ and why are we losing it?
Let me explain. The human body in itself is incredible, it has a huge list of truly amazing features and the way it can adapt to the situations we put it through is extraordinary. Although the body has a long list of pros, it does have one major con. I might be stating the obvious to some people while others might not have pondered this thought; the human body is not designed to live forever. And this is where the ‘it’ comes into play. Sarcopenia is the proper term given to the natural progressive loss of muscle mass as we age. Majority of the population begin to lose modest amounts of muscle after turning 30 and the associated loss of strength continues every year that we age. By the time we reach 50, we are losing approximately 1-2% of muscle mass per year! And that is the statistic for a relatively active individual, whereas they are predicting those who are inactive are losing around 4-5% of muscle mass each year! We need to use our muscle or we’ll lost it at an exponential rate.
Do you feel so scared of falling over that you don’t go out walking on your own? Do you feel embarrassed that you can’t walk up a flight of stairs without losing your breath when you used to be so active? Did you used to be able to carry your groceries without an issue but now you can’t?
Those are some examples the impact of losing muscle can have on your activities of daily living. Other implications include mobility problems, osteoporosis, falls and fractures, physical inactivity, increased chances of chronic disease, weight gain and losing independence and physical function. Even though this is a natural process that our scientists are yet to fully understand there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Research has proven that engaging in regular strength based exercise can delay this process which has extremely important benefits for quality of life and maintaining independence in the community. Because in the end getting out and enjoying life is the most important thing. Don’t let the concept of strength based exercise scare you. You don’t need to lift heavy weights in the gym, effective exercises can be performed in the safety and comfort of your own home. If you would like more information, guidance or an exercise program developed, please come in to the clinic and say hello, it would be my absolute pleasure to assist you.