The term sarcopenia has not been in common usage for very long (see graph), but the condition has been around forever. Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle tissue that occurs as a natural part of the aging process. According to this article, Why You're Aging Ungracefully, there are two things we can do to help maintain our muscle as we age - lift weights and eat high-quality protein.
A quote from the article:
Sarcopenia begins naturally in the 4th and 5th decades of life, making your 40s and 50s an ideal time to increase dietary protein and weight training, but even those in their 60s and beyond can benefit."
Another quote: "The stronger you are, the more muscle you have, the less likely you are to become sick or die."
It is a pretty simple equation: the more muscle you have the less likely you are to die. That is because muscle positively affects so many of the bio-markers of aging. There are bio-markers we cannot influence by exercise such as hearing loss or graying hair, but there is a long list of bio-markers we can change most effectively by strength training. People are not generally placed in nursing homes because they are out of breath; it is because they are too weak to carry out daily activities on their own.
At our Austin Fitness Training facility we use MedX equipment with its special medical rehab features. We can accommodate those with limiting conditions and can work with people of any age. One of our trainers has four clients in their 80s, and our oldest client was 95. Strength training can add years of vitality to your life. It is never too late to start.
More articles on aging here.