As the saying goes you don’t know what you have till it’s gone. In the hustle and bustle of daily living we take for granted our impermeable fortitude in conquering each day. Fast forward into our future and we may find our once invincible bodies frail, weak and prone to injury.

Sarcopenia is a degenerative condition resulting in the loss of muscle mass and strength that slowly rears itself over time. It can begin as early as our 30s for those physically inactive. We lose approximately 1% to 30% of muscle mass each year in our 40s. This equates to an estimated 3% to 5% of muscle mass loss per decade with a corresponding reduction in muscle strength.

Lack of physical activity, diminishing hormone levels (testosterone, growth hormone, menopausal drops in estrogen), reduced protein synthesis, inadequate protein intake and changes in our neuromuscular system are all contributing factors to sarcopenia. As the size of muscle cells decrease, fat cells increase.

What can you do to reverse or reduce sarcopenia? Just a few hours a week of aerobic exercise can lead to substantial health benefits. In a study which appeared in the January 26, 2009 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, a co-author indicated, “People who trained aerobically lost abdominal fat, maintained muscle and became over 30% more insulin sensitive."

Aerobic exercise is only one means to counter this insidious disease. An article in The Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging titled “Strength Training for the Prevention and Treatment of Sarcopenia” reports progressive resistance training is necessary.

How can you incorporate resistance training into your daily life?
• Begin by walking, targeting about 90 minutes each week.
• Once you have accomplished this, try adding 20 minutes of
resistance training three days per week.
• Work toward a goal of 90 minutes of aerobic exercise and 60
minutes of resistance exercise each week.

Resistance training ideas:
• Weight machines
• Free weights
• Adding body weight to push-ups, standing squats, crunches
• Perform 8 or 10 exercises targeting major muscle groups with 1
set per group (i.e., pectorals, deltoids, abdominals,
gluteals, quadriceps, hamstrings)
• Alternate between moderate intensity and higher intensity

Aerobic workouts should be at least 12 minutes to get the most benefit. The American Heart Association recommends doing one or more of the following to work your arms and legs giving your heart a great workout:
• Brisk walking
• Dancing
• Bicycling
• Skating
• Swimming
• Lawn mowing
• Leaf raking
• Vacuuming

It’s never too late to get started. The investment you make in your health today could be what gives you your independence tomorrow.

Author's Bio: 

As a health and wellness coach, Christie empowers people to harness and breakthrough barriers that get in the way of taking care of themselves. Her unique approach encompasses value-based coaching that addresses an individual’s overall well-being and underlying factors that contribute to unhealthy lifestyle choices.

You may enjoy the benefits of having someone who will really listen, help you seek clarity, develop and work on healthy lifestyle changes through support, guidance and accountability. Schedule your complimentary, private coaching session so you can begin to experience the benefits of health and wellness coaching for yourself at