Sarcopenia: What it is? And what you need to know to prevent it.

Sarcopenia is becoming more common at a younger age due to our increasingly inactive lifestyles. It is the age-related gradual loss of lean muscle mass, strength, and functionality that sets in after 30 years of age. Lean muscle is gradually replaced with body fat and although you may not see a great weight change on the scale, body fat increases leading to sarcopenic obesity, visceral fat, metabolic disorders, general inflammation, diabetes and some types of cancer. It can prevent people from performing the most basic tasks of daily living, and greatly increases their risk of injury, suffering falls and other serious accidents.

  • Image on the right above shows decrease in muscle mass and increase in body fat.

The Antidote

The antidote is exercise! Exercise is critically important in preventing and managing sarcopenia. Exercise stimulates the release of hormones that promote healthy muscle mass. These include:

  • Growth hormone, which acts throughout the body assisting in preventing loss of muscle mass.

  •  Local growth factor, assisting in preventing muscle loss and loss of bone. As we know bone loss leads to Osteoporosis and potential fractures.

Become Stronger And More Shapely

Lean muscle mass not only makes us stronger and more shapely, it boosts your metabolic rate so you body is burning more calories even at rest as 1 kg of muscle burns 10 calories per minute without you doing anything!

Become Familiar With The Type Of Exercise You Need

While exercise is critical, the type of exercise is important. Aerobic exercise leads to cardiovascular fitness, however resistance training is needed to promote muscle growth. It also benefits healthy insulin control helping you to avoid metabolic disorders. This can be accomplished with:

  • Weights – kettle bells, dumbbells, barbells, battle ropes

  • Resistance bands – flat and round

  • A well designed program using your own-body weight as a resistance.

  • Plyometrics (loading your body weight with propulsive movements).

Where Can You Get Advice?

To ensure the correct balance and frequency of training it is advisable to consult with your personal trainer or attend specific training groups designed around gradual progression and safe guidelines.

What else can you do?

All adults should ensure they are getting:

  • Adequate good quality protein.

  • A good variety of vegetables and fruit daily to provide optimal nutritional support of muscle growth.

  • Adequate sleep and recovery.

If You Have An Illness

Sarcopenia that occurs with a serious illness will need advice from your medical practitioner and may require hormone treatment as well. Those with existing diabetes will also need to discuss their exercise routine with their doctor.

What Others Have Experienced

Feedback from my personal training clients is as follows:

“My weight has not changed a lot on the scales, but my shape has changed significantly and my clothes fit better”.

“I have much more energy and can now do everyday tasks so much easier than before”.

“I never thought I could do this and have surprised myself and my family with what I have achieved.”

“Having progressive options has helped me increase from “a weakling” to strong, confident person”.

“I am so much happier every day, I love being fit”.


So give it a go! Commit today to a healthy and happy future.

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