How do you know if you are losing muscle?

We have written about the ever growing disease of Sarcopenia in past blog updates. As people live longer they end up stuck with decades of meds and low quality living because of age related muscle wasting. Frailty begets susceptibility to disease on most seniors end up stuck on the medical roundabout.

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The problem is how do you know when you are losing muscle and how do you know when it is getting really serious? Because our nervous systems are so complex we can become ever more efficient at our daily activities over years that we don’t tend to feel the change…but if you know what to look for you can see the change.

First let us admit that our primary stance is Pro-Active health so as everyone will and does weaken with age we suggest a lifestyle of pre-hab over re-hab. That said there should be a decent way to spot lean tissue loss which also suggests underlying bone and connective tissue degradation.

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The simple answer is ‘sag’. When you are younger and gain body fat it just makes your skin tighter like your cloths. As you lose muscle into your mid 30’s and on into your 40’s when you gain fat you sag with the added weight as opposed to only puffy and bulging. In fact, as you lose muscle you will notice new sag even as you drop body fat. This isn’t just loose older skin this is a lack of muscle filling out your flesh.

Why does this happen? Muscle fills with blood when you are moving and holds plenty of intercellular fluid even at rest. This shows as square shoulders, high chest and shoulder blades., tight back of arms and inner thighs,. You can also easily spot sag on your glutes where the dense upper region of muscle disappears leaving a droopy backside.

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What most mistakenly call ‘muscle toning’ is just building back lean tissue from weight lifting to counter this sag and shows as a more toned filled out look to your skin.

So there you go another strong reason to get and stay strong…fight the sag!

Be well, be strong,

Andrew and Tierney

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