Can I Prevent Muscle Loss, or Sarcopenia?

Age-related muscle loss is natural, but you can minimize the damage.

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I'm getting older and am concerned about sarcopenia. Is there anything I should be doing to prevent age-related muscle loss?

Sarcopenia is the normal process of losing muscle mass as one ages. Studies indicate that up to about age 50 you will lose an estimated 4 percent of strength and muscle mass per decade. After that, the loss increases to about 10 percent per decade. By age 60, the average man will have lost approximately one third of his muscle mass. This dramatic loss can be reduced and to some extent delayed if you increase strength training with age. My recommendations for the breakdown of an exercise regimen are:

Conditioning30s80%20%40s70%30%50s60%40%Over 6055%45% 

Not only may this delay age-related sarcopenia, but there is a possibility of building up muscle mass as one ages. To slow down aging, you must eliminate (in this order): (1) cigarette smoking, (2) inactivity, and (3) obesity.

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