How Bodybuilding Can Help You Prevent Sarcopenia!

Bodybuilding is one of the best things you can do to help prevent sarcopenia or slow it's onset. This makes sense right? You want to prevent muscle loss. Here are the myriad ways that bodybuilding can help...

Article Summary:
  • Muscle loss doesn't need to be an inevitable part of getting older.
  • Many older people don't get nearly as much protein as they need.
  • Doctors suggest training and diet plans similar to a bodybuilder's plans.
  • Many people believe that as we get older we automatically lose muscle. Its part of aging just like wrinkles right? Well, actually you can decrease the muscle loss associated with aging, called sarcopenia, just like you can prevent wrinkles.

    What Is Sarcopenia?

    Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle mass and strength associated with aging. And, when people get older, you'll sometimes notice that they have an increased risk of falling or they become achy and inactive. This could be the result of sarcopenia or sarcopenia combined with other diseases.

    Sarcopenia Is The Loss Of Muscle Mass And Strength Associated With Aging.
    + Click To Enlarge.
    Sarcopenia Is The Loss Of Muscle Mass
    And Strength Associated With Aging.

    Sarcopenia is considered a major cause of disability in the elderly. But, you don't have to take aging sitting down. Experts believe that sarcopenia has multiple causes that are likely to contribute to loss of muscle mass. These causes include altered hormonal status, decreased total calorie and protein intake, inflammatory mediators, factors related to protein synthesis and decreased physical activity.

    How Bodybuilding Can Help You Beat Sarcopenia

    Bodybuilding is one of the best things you can do to help prevent sarcopenia or slow it's onset. This makes sense right? You want to prevent muscle loss. Here are the myriad ways that bodybuilding can help you prevent this disease and the subsequent negative effects it can have on your life:

    Senior Fitness.
    [ Click here to learn more. ]
    Senior Fitness.
    More and more seniors are exercising these days - they are beginning to realize the importance of weight training and their health.
    Lisa Sutton

    Bodybuilding Helps You Build Muscle Mass And Prevent Muscle Loss

      Treatment for sarcopenia involves a progressive resistance training program.

      Resistance training is so important for preventing muscle mass loss that the researchers at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University (HNRCA) in Boston, Massachusetts, have been studying how resistance training can reverse sarcopenia and frailty in the elderly for several years.

      Research by this group and others has shown that older adults can in fact put on muscle mass (though the process may be a bit slower than it is in young individuals). In one study they found that a home-based exercise program improved functional performance and balance in participants over the age of 70. This is vital for a good quality of life and preventing falls.

    Home-Based Exercise Programs Improved Functional Performance And Balance In Participants Over The Age Of 70.
    + Click To Enlarge.
    Home-Based Exercise Programs Improved Functional
    Performance And Balance In Participants Over The Age Of 70.

    Bodybuilders Know The Importance Of A Good Diet And Dietary Supplements

      Bodybuilders eat right and supplement their diet when necessary. This means they include fatty fish in their diet ( mackerel, herring, halibut, lake trout etc.) or take fish oil supplements.

      Fish oil intake has been related to better grip strength in older men. Why? Researchers postulate that the anti-inflammatory effects of fish oil are responsible for increased strength. Bodybuilders know the importance of a diet loaded in anti-inflammatory foods like fatty fish, anthocyanin-rich blue, red and purple produce (think berries) and choline rich foods (wheat germ, beef, eggs).

    Young Vs. Old.
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    Young Vs. Old.
    Fast forward 15 years. Stuff is happening. No longer can you get away with that weekly poker-night pizza without seeing it the next day. See what you can do about it.
    Marc Lobliner

      Bodybuilders are also keenly aware of the relationship between statin drugs (those drugs that lower your cholesterol levels) and statin related myopathy (muscle weakness). Statin-related myopathy affects some individuals on statin drugs. What's the solution? Coenzyme Q10, an antioxidant in your body that also plays a role in cellular respiration.

    Bodybuilders Eat Good Quality Protein And Enough Protein To Meet Their Needs

      Bodybuilders don't sit back and listen to the government RDA for protein - a mere 0.8 grams/kg bodyweight. No, bodybuilders know that they need more protein (1.2 - 2.0 grams/kg bodyweight) to build and maintain muscle mass.

      When we age, if we don't take in enough good quality protein, our body will take the amino acids it needs from our muscle tissue (a process called catabolism). Seniors also need more than the 0.8g/kg bodyweight according to several research studies.

    Bodybuilding Helps Prevent Obesity

      Obesity and especially central obesity (fat in your midsection) directly affects inflammation. In fact, fat tissue produces inflammatory cytokines that can accelerate muscle breakdown and contribute to the vicious cycle that researchers have termed "sarcopenic obesity."

    What Is Sarcopenic Obesity?
    Sarcopenic obesity is a medical condition which is actually a mix of two different ailments. It is a situation wherein a person shows an increase in fat mass and a reduction in lean mass. The symptoms are basically the same as that of sarcopenia and obesity. The individual may show a BMI that is appropriate and healthy to his or her age but will look fat in appearance. The problem of diagnosing a person with the condition is hard as there is no reference value for the appropriate lean mass. This is because healthy people tend to show variations in their composition due to their body types.

      As if being obese wasn't difficult enough, just having that excess fat tissue increases inflammation, which may contribute to increased muscle breakdown. Luckily, bodybuilding helps prevent obesity. Through a combination of diet, resistance training and aerobic exercise, bodybuilding can help ward off the battle of the bulge and help those who are overweight lose weight.

    What Else Can You Do To Prevent Sarcopenia?

    The act of bodybuilding covers the recommendations by physicians and scientists for preventing this disease or attenuating its progression. So, if you want to prevent sarcopenia, get out there and keep bodybuilding. And, discuss any changes you may feel in your body with your physician.

    About The Author:

    Marie Spano is a leading authority on translating the latest nutrition and exercise science research into real life applications. Ms. Spano has also helped Olympic athletes, NFL-bound athletes and Fortune 500 executives enhance their health and performance through sound nutrition practices. She is a regular contributor to For more information see:


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