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Sitting is the New Smoking: Sarcopenia an Indicator of Decline

In today’s fast-paced world, many of us find ourselves spending hours each day sitting at a computer or engaged in sedentary activities. While this may seem harmless, it can have a significant impact on our health as we age. One of the key indicators of aging is a condition called sarcopenia, which involves the gradual loss of muscular strength and mass. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the concept of sarcopenia and explore ways to combat it, focusing on an exciting fitness approach known as Mindful Strength Training to Failure (MSTF).

Why Bother?

Well, we are all aging along with 1.5 billion people on the planet over the age of 65 by 2050. Just that number alone is remarkable! Frequently people 65 and older suffer falls due to lack of strength, balance and mobility. Once disability sets in, longevity could be a curse instead of a blessing.

In this HealthSpan Challenge there are simple steps we can take now to develop physical activity habits that help us physically and mentally. Think about your activity level at 30. How has that changed? Did you know that we obtained our maximum physiology at age 30? What were you doing then? Think of that as your baseline.

I will never get back everything I have lost since being a ballet dancer and Tai Chi competitor, but I can still do a modified ballet barre and Tai Chi (without sinking stances).

Bottom line … the lack of physical activity and a sedentary lifestyle are associated with premature and excessive disease and dysfunction. That is why bother!

Understanding Sarcopenia

Sarcopenia is a condition that affects millions of people as they grow older. It is characterized by the gradual loss of muscle mass, strength, and function. This natural aging process can lead to a variety of health issues, including decreased mobility, increased risk of falls and fractures, and a decline in overall quality of life.

The good news is that we can take proactive steps to prevent and even reverse sarcopenia, and it doesn’t have to cost much, if anything at all. Let’s explore some of these strategies.

Mindful Strength Training to Failure (MSTF)

One promising approach to combat sarcopenia is Mindful Strength Training to Failure (MSTF), a form of High-Intensity Training (HIT). MSTF is designed to be incorporated into our routines once or twice a week, regardless of our fitness level. The idea is to perform short but intense workouts that push our muscles to the point of momentary muscle failure.

Authors of Deep Fitness, Philip Shepard and Andrei Yakovenko, cite a study which highlights the incredible potential of MSTF. Thousands of men and women were examined to determine whether a high level of cardiorespiratory fitness could offset the increased cardiovascular risk factors associated with prolonged sitting. The results were astonishing—high levels of cardiorespiratory fitness “abolished the increased odds” of clustered cardiovascular risk factors linked to sitting. This means that we have the potential to get stronger as we age, reshaping the conventional narrative of growing older. 

To learn more about MSTF and how to incorporate it into your fitness routine, you can visit the following website: Deep Fitness. The book was recommended to me by a retired doctor who is passionate about staying fit as we age. It’s a valuable resource to dive deeper into this approach to fitness. Two workouts a week is my goal. 

OsteoStrong and Bone Health

Another promising avenue to combat sarcopenia is through a specialized gym known as OsteoStrong. These gyms operate on similar principles to MSTF and cater to individuals of all fitness levels. OsteoStrong’s focus is on strengthening bones and regaining muscle mass while counteracting the negative effects of prolonged sitting.

Check out this short video to see how OsteoStrong approaches improving bone health and muscle mass: OsteoStrong Video.

While OsteoStrong may involve some costs, and finding a location might be a challenge in some areas, it offers an extremely efficient way to work on your bone health and muscle mass.

I can’t unknow what I am learning and I hope this shared knowledge adds benefit to your well-being.

Incorporating walking, yoga, HIT, MSTF, OsteoStrong are only my suggestions. There is something out there for you too after your doctor gives you the green light.

Here’s to getting off the couch and a longer Health Span!

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It’s time for ten minutes on the rebounder!