Many elderly people have suffered from hip fractures because of careless falls. Surprisingly, the most effective way to prevent frequent falls is to keep the elders away from sarcopenia. Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle and strength due to aging and will affect your ability to perform tasks of daily living.
Common symptoms of sarcopenia are as follows:
- Slow walk speed – Cannot finish crossing the road before traffic turns red
- You need to support yourselves with both arms when getting up from your seat
- Fall more than two times in a year
- Weak gripping strength – Unable to wring the cloth
Do you have the symptoms above? Don’t worry! The good news is that sarcopenia is preventable or even reversible! Diet and exercise are the most powerful ways to treat sarcopenia.
Protein is important in building and repairing muscle. It is not just how much protein you eat, but also what type of protein you consume. You can get high quality protein from meats, chicken, fish, eggs, milk, soybean, beans and lentils. Do make sure you get protein in your every meal!
Vitamin D, either from sunlight, diet or supplements, may help the elders maintain muscle strength. Having a 20 minutes of sunlight exposure in the morning help you get enough vitamin D.
Omega-3 has been found to preserve muscle mass and is especially important in managing sarcopenia. You can get omega-3 from salmon, flaxseed oil or fish oil supplements.
Diet alone would not give you the best result when treating sarcopenia. Exercise or resistance training such has lifting weights, sit-ups and push-ups can prevent you from losing your muscle and strength. Even a 30-minute jogging or hiking three times per week can slow your rate of muscle loss.
Although aging is unavoidable, having sarcopenia does not have to be. You can always prevent and even reverse sarcopenia by having proper diet and exercise. It is never too late to get fit and strong!
- International Osteoporosis Foundation
- Medical News Today