Muscles Deteriorate with Aging
One of the signs of aging is loss of muscles or sarcopenia. Even though losing muscle mass begins in the late 20s, many men start realizing this around their 50s. In the beginning, muscle deterioration is not visible and considered insignificant. However, if a man’s lifestyle is mainly sedentary, medical experts claim that he can lose from 3 to 5 percent of his muscles per decade. In his 50s, if his lifestyle remains the same, he can experience not only visible, but also functional consequences of muscle loss. During the years of inactivity, weak muscles could not support the bones properly that can lead to losing mobility. To find out more about muscles deterioration, the article “What Happens to Aging Muscles” explains different types of muscle deterioration and its causes.
Muscles Deteriorate with Aging
• Sedentary: Muscle deterioration is a natural process, but a sedentary lifestyle can accelerate it. You can rebuild muscle mass lost from a sedentary
lifestyle — all you have to do is get off the couch and do something physical! Some sedentary people include those who are bedridden, astronauts, and
people with minimal physical activity.
Statistics show that people confined to bed can lose around 1 percent of muscle strength for each day in bed. Physical therapy is often prescribed as
treatment for people who are bedridden so that they don’t have muscle loss. A person’s recovery time from being bedridden can be improved if the proper
actions are taken to prevent muscle loss. Interestingly, muscle loss also affects astronauts, who spend much time in a weightless state!
• Age-related: Age-related muscle loss is also called sarcopenia, which means “vanishing flesh.” Sarcopenia isn’t an inevitable part of aging; it’s the
result of the loss of around ten ounces of muscle a year that isn’t replaced due to a sedentary lifestyle. You can win this muscle back with a strength-
• Medication-related: Certain medications, such as systemic corticosteroids (often prescribed for people with asthma or inflammatory conditions such as
rheumatoid arthritis or lupus), can result in muscle weakness.
• Disease-related: Muscle atrophy from disease can be more difficult to overcome, especially when it involves nerve damage or disease of the muscle itself.
The muscle loss in these situations is more damaging because you have almost no use of the diseased muscles. With the other types of muscle loss, you have
at least some use of the muscle groups. Cancer can also result in a muscle wasting syndrome called cachexia.Diseases that cause cachexia often progress
rapidly; many have no cure and are progressively disabling.
Apart from aging, a sedentary lifestyle is the factor number one that causes the loss of muscles in many men. Therefore, regular exercising can help men to bring back their strength and flexibility. According to medical experts, when comparing muscles of a young man and a middle-aged man, they did not show significant differences in their strength, but only in case that the middle-aged man regularly exercises. The emphasis is not on exercising but on its regularity. Why is it so? After two weeks of taking breaks from exercising, the muscles lose their strength and elasticity. On the other hand, if a period of inactivity lasts one year, muscles will retain about 55% of their strength. Furthermore, trained muscles remember movements they have learned and will not need much time to start training again and progress fast. This encouraging news comes together with the fact that muscles’ increasing will reduce fat mass and prevent our body from developing diseases that appeared as a direct consequence of fat mass. There are no such diseases as coronary artery disease, diabetes, cancer, etc., that good fitness program cannot keep away from our body.