Muscle Mass And Aging

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by Ken Anderson, Nov 4, 2017.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    7,450
    Likes Received:
    9,810
    At some point during the aging process, most people start to lose muscle mass. This is known as age-related sarcopenia. Like pretty much every other disease, not everyone is affected in the same way, and probably all of us know someone who seems to have retained his strength into an advanced age.

    My parents didn't live long enough to be very old but I know that, even after having been burned over 60% of his body, my dad was lifting an engine out of his car one morning. He had hooked up a pulley so it's not like he was just lifting it straight up under his own power, but neither did he have a motorized lift.

    Meanwhile, I have trouble opening a jar.

    As might be expected, some of this may be due to age-related sarcopenia but, just as many of just might want to blame weight gain on thyroid problems, I am sure that much of it has to do with the fact that we tend not to use our muscles as much as we grow older.

    For one thing, we're not as likely to be working a job that requires heavy lifting, and many of us have given up some of the recreational activities that build muscle mass.

    I have noticed, to my disdain, that I have very little discernible muscle mass in my arms anymore, and that wasn't the case just ten years ago.

    Age-related sarcopenia is not something that is entirely within our control, however. It comes about through an actual reduction in the number of nerve cells that send the signals from the brain to the muscles to begin movement.

    As we age, we may have lower concentrations of some of the hormones required for muscle mass, such as growth hormones, testosterone, and insulin.

    There may be a decrease in the ability to turn protein into energy.

    Of course, it is necessary to be sure that we get enough calories and protein each day to sustain muscle mass and, as it was when we were younger, exercise is still necessary. Exercise is important, not only to build muscle directly, but it can stimulate the production of the hormones necessary to sustain it.

    I bought a couple of exercise balls, not the kind that you sit on or roll around on, but smaller five-pound balls that can be used to add some weight to my arms for exercising. Twenty years ago, I would have consider them to be girlie but, to be honest, I would just hurt myself on barbells.
     
    #1
  2. Gloria Mitchell

    Gloria Mitchell Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2017
    Messages:
    1,125
    Likes Received:
    1,501
    Jars I can open..if I cant then then I have a little do dad that helps me open them. Our problem is opening and closing plastic things...like lunchmeats. I use scissors to open most things...then rebag them in zip lock baggies. This if course does not require much muscle. Just as well because I dont think I have any left :p
     
    #2
    Terry Page likes this.
  3. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2015
    Messages:
    21,370
    Likes Received:
    6,428
    I have always had very strong arms, my biceps for a little lady are bigger than my husbands'... however I have no strength in my hands.. I have some RA in my fingers now...not too bad, but even before I had that, I just never could really grip anything very hard, so jars etc have always been a problem. if I carry heavy shopping bags for any length of time, my hands don't stop shaking for a long time afterwards..
     
    #3
    Terry Page likes this.
  4. Mike Dobra

    Mike Dobra Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2017
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    98
    A rowing machine and indoor bicycle help keep strength up, plus a few other exercises. Mainly to keep strength up, but also ward off loss off stamina. Diabetic means a regime must be adhered to....
     
    #4
    Ted Richards, Tim Burr and Terry Page like this.
  5. Terry Page

    Terry Page Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    Messages:
    4,349
    Likes Received:
    8,539
    I am pretty much as weak as a kitten when it comes to lifting anything, my grip is still good, but it used to be tenacious, my leg muscles are still strong, because I walk so much, so a ten mile walk is easy still, ...............I guess it is lack of use where my arms are concerned, but I am not inclined to exercise through laziness [​IMG] ...............on the other hand my brain resembles untoasted marshmallow these days, despite all the exercise I give it [​IMG]
     
    #5
    Ken Anderson and Holly Saunders like this.
  6. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2015
    Messages:
    21,370
    Likes Received:
    6,428
    unfortunately I don't have the space indoors for those things
     
    #6
  7. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    1,403
    Likes Received:
    2,757
    Without change, there will be no change.
    Just about everyone here knows most of the story but for those who do not, the short version is I went from a big guy with a big belly and 10" arms to a big guy with a much smaller belly and a little over 19" arms. Waist was sooo big I had to wear 4x coveralls and now I wear 34" whatever style pants I wish.

    Yeah, there is a lot of work to it but on the other side of the work is a lot of research. The things you find out by going through every piece of information you can lay your hands on and then weeding out the false information piece by piece. It's knowing what feeds muscle and what destroys it and words like anabolic and catabolic come into play.
    How much protein or carbs and carb to fiber ratios are needed for muscle growth and what are the essential and non-essential amino acids that are so badly needed in all types of muscle (and brain) growth.
    Guys, did you know that only 1.5-2% of your testosterone is used for muscle growth? And did you also know that men can reproduce until the day your heart stops beating? (and a little beyond actually) That said, I know of 5 different ways to raise your testosterone without going to a doctor.
    Ladies, you NEED estrogen even after menopause. There are a couple of ways I know that will help raise that for you and you might just see things uh...perk up a bit.
    All of that is just plain research and it is out there for anyone at anytime.

    The biggest piece of false information is that age and muscle loss goes hand in hand. It's false because it does NOT have to be that way.
    First, check your genetics. If you have muscular people in your background, you are more likely to be able to build muscle mass.
    If your people are more lithe like the Kenyan runners are, you can obtain great lean muscle structure but not much mass.
    (It's all about fast and slow twitch muscle fiber and that is another study all together.)

    In @Ken Anderson's case and many other disease or conditional related cases they are hard to beat but most of them can be beaten to some desirable degree with the right techniques.

    We just do NOT have to lay down and accept the things we have been told for so many years and Yvonne and I are proving that nearly every day. Most doctors just lay out on the subject and say, "well, you ARE getting older so....."
    Yeah, my age is old. But, millions upon millions of cells are being replaced every single day so by definition, there are parts of me that were just born yesterday and need to be nurtured, fed, and trained to do what they are supposed to do.
    It would indeed be a shame to allow all of the old cells to take over so that I would die leaving all of those billions of baby cells go to waste.
     
    #7
  8. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    1,403
    Likes Received:
    2,757
    Okay, no replies but I just cannot leave it at that.
    Things are not as easy for guys than it is for the gals when it comes to rebuilding hormone levels that are all too important for good muscle growth and overall health.

    For the ladies, if you have a good appetite, you can practically eat your way to a higher estrogen level but for the guys it takes some work to improve testosterone. Needless to say, a good regimen of exercise is always good for either gender.

    Ladies: A steady diet including bran cereals, alfalfa sprouts, some soy products such as tofu, chick peas, peas, kale and beans just to name a few items will help raise your estrogen levels. If one google's estrogen building foods, there are a plethora of them. There are also some things you should avoid that mimic estrogen such as some preservatives do.

    Men: Although there are plenty of products called testosterone boosters on the market, please, do not waste your social security checks on them. Instead, if you work your larger muscle groups such as the quadriceps and hams your body will automatically see a need for more testosterone in order to build those larger muscles.
    Also, one of the main builders is to do exercises that employ more than one skeletal muscle grouping at the same time. If you work your deltoids for instance, the traps, upper chest and even the triceps and biceps can get involved depending on the exercise. Granted, you are not isolating a particular muscle which is prime for building better muscle mass, but let's pretend everyone is an amateur and needs to start somewhere. In cases such as @Ken Anderson, it might be a little harder to do but yes, from what I see in some research, it can be done but it's a little slower.

    In any case, when it comes to building up the testosterone levels after the age of 50 or so, there are times when a good aromatase blocker might be a good bet with exercise.
    Aromatase turns testosterone into estrogen and lives in the brain, liver and especially in fat cells. If we decrease aromatase then we decrease the amount of estrogen and also by the raising of the testosterone level, decreases fat cells where aromatase lives.
    I personally prefer Tonkat Ali which is available on Amazon for a variety of prices. I use the sublingual with some pretty decent results even though I do not like the bitter taste.

    Have fun.................
     
    #8
    Yvonne Smith likes this.
  9. Ted Richards

    Ted Richards Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2017
    Messages:
    210
    Likes Received:
    354
    I was working in a mining mill in my 60's as a journeyman millwright when I noticed I was losing a lot of strength that I needed in my occupation so I decided to retire at 67.
     
    #9
    Bobby Cole likes this.
  10. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    7,450
    Likes Received:
    9,810
    I have been making a point of exercising my arm muscles throughout the day, every day; not to a point where I am sore. I am seeing a return of some discernable muscle. I never really noticed its disappearance until I suddenly realized that I had no biceps. I couldn't even make a muscle if I strained myself. That's what I am trying to restore, at least as a start.
     
    #10
    Bobby Cole likes this.
  11. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    1,403
    Likes Received:
    2,757
    Yeah, I do know how that goes. One of the pivotal pieces of motivation came when I looked at my triceps area and only saw a bunch of sagging skin and my bicep area was a mass of wrinkles rather than muscle.
    While at Walmart, I bought a 15lb dumbbell, took it home and started doing sitting curls while I read or watched something on the IPad. At that time, 15 lbs was about all I could handle and muster up 10 repetitions. Over the period of a half hour I could manage 3 or 4 sets which really isn't that bad if you think of the accumulated weight. It works out to be 450 lbs at three sets for each arm so it was a good start. Funny, now the accumulated weight for the same exercise in 5 minutes is about 2000 lbs depending on the day and how I feel.

    I digress. Bottom line is that I do not have any more sagging skin or a wrinkly looking bicep area with no muscle underneath.
    Oh yeah, if you can pick up a hand squeeze for your grip and forearms, they work great. The one Yvonne got me adjusts from 2 lbs to 80 lbs.

    All that said..........Keep up the good work!! Each day is just another opportunity to get better. My daily statement goes: The good Lord woke me up this morning and gave me another chance to get it right! It could have been different...........................
     
    #11
    Ken Anderson likes this.
  12. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    7,450
    Likes Received:
    9,810
    I've got one of those.
     
    #12
    Bobby Cole likes this.
  13. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    1,403
    Likes Received:
    2,757
    Good. Winter is upon us and the snow shovel will need good strong hands.
     
    #13

Share This Page