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A Guide to Healthy Ageing

By Sam Whitaker

Do your knees creak when you bend down? Do you feel the need to let out a slight groan every time you get out of a chair? Or do you just want to prevent these things from happening in later life? Then this is a post about Sarcopenia and healthy ageing is one for you.

How to age gracefully

Modern medicine and healthcare means we're liver longer lives than ever before. But are we living better lives? Considering the increased prevalence of chronic diseases including: hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis and impairments to mobility, I would say that many are not.

So that begs the question; is it worth it? Is it worth living an extra 10+ years if the quality of those years is greatly diminished?

It feels like there's so much emphasis on helping people live longer, with comparatively little emphasis on improving the quality of those extra years. As people age it becomes more and more difficult to do the things that were once routine. They lose mobility and their independence as their overall health deteriorates. This leads to lower quality of life and reliance on others.

Sarcopenia

Sarcopenia is an age related decline of muscle mass and strength. From the age of 25, there is a progressive decrease in the size and number of muscle fibres resulting in a loss of about 30% of muscle mass at the age of 80.

The reduction in skeletal muscle mass and strength with advancing age is associated with diseased states including type 2 diabetes, cancer, metabolic syndrome, and rezduced mobility and disability, as well as mortality.1

It's almost accepted that as you age you become frailer, less mobile and more accident prone. Obviously some physical deterioration is inevitable as we age. But that doesn't mean we can't do anything to slow it down and postpone the onset. Personally, I intend to fight the aging process and postpone it as much as I can. I've no interest in living a long time if my quality of life is reduced in those later years.

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