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sarcopenia: muscle mass loss
Old 07-05-2007, 11:36 AM   #1
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sarcopenia: muscle mass loss

there's a few older folk at the gym who i admire. they are there almost every day. some of them swim, others work the weights and a few do both. even though getting old sucks, if i have to get old, i want to get old like them. and here's why...

Muscle-mass disease sarcopenia is little known but serious threat to seniors: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
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Old 07-05-2007, 01:42 PM   #2
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"Experts agree that activity is key to slowing sarcopenia". Whoa. Sign me up for that research grant.

I was surprised (and felt a good bit betrayed) by how quickly my knees atrophied when I injured the ligaments. Rehab is painfully sucky but the process beats all the alternatives.

My nephew the Army Ranger says that a key to graduating from the Ranger School is muscle recovery. Attitude & perseverance can only take you to the point of losing consciousness, but effective metabolism & healing are necessary to get through the curriculum's endurance trials. Army research is indicating that recovery & healing are related to testosterone levels, and I wonder if that transfers to the general population.

The article reads like a very tactful & gentle way of alerting seniors to the need to haul their assets out of their recliners and start moving them...
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Old 07-05-2007, 01:50 PM   #3
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I'm not happy with the strength in my legs. Always a little grunting when getting up from a full squat.

A few years ago wasn't everyone saying that once you lost it (muscle mass), it was gone?
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Old 07-05-2007, 02:52 PM   #4
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Muscle mass loss is a big deal cause it leads to falls, among other things. It seems to be related to exercise (resistance) and, in men, to falling testosterone levels.

The good news is that the amount of exercise needed to preserve an adequate amount of muscle is not that great. I don't have the numbers handy, but relatively low resistance training is all you need. Those silly video clips that you see with elderly patients going curls with 3lb weights seem silly at first, but it seems to work. You need a lot less to prevent atrophy than you do to build Schwarzenneger biceps.

Another interesting item: wobble boards. I'm talking about those small platforms attached to a half-globe shaped pedastal. You stand on the platform and try to keep the edges off the floor as it wobbles. Someone studied these in a nursing home and users had a lower incidence of falling. Seems to sharpen your balance recovery reaction time, build up the core muscles and ankles.
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Old 07-05-2007, 03:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
Another interesting item: wobble boards. I'm talking about those small platforms attached to a half-globe shaped pedastal. You stand on the platform and try to keep the edges off the floor as it wobbles. Someone studied these in a nursing home and users had a lower incidence of falling. Seems to sharpen your balance recovery reaction time, build up the core muscles and ankles.
They must be extremely effective because I hate them with a passion. We use them at tae kwon do to practice some of the more stationary moves, and you'll know right away what you're doing wrong.

Another extremely effective physical-therapy tool is a thick foam mat. The 6" thickness makes your feet sink way into it, but the resulting compressed 1" layer is still an unstable surface requiring constant adjustment to maintain your balance. The PT would have you stand on one foot and then throw eight-pound medicine balls around. But if one of those showed up at a nursing home all the residents would be out of commission in 24 hours...
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Old 07-05-2007, 07:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
I was surprised (and felt a good bit betrayed) by how quickly my knees atrophied when I injured the ligaments. Rehab is painfully sucky but the process beats all the alternatives.
even with physical therapy, lack of use produced extreme atrophy & muscle loss in mom towards the end. we were visiting one day and mom seemed chilled so sil put a sweater on her. then she walked away to talk to one of the nurses (to make sure they keep mom's arms covered with said sweater). i hadn't noticed but then my little nephew says, "why is grandma's arm still in the air." unable to control her own limbs, mom's arms had became stiff like a plastic mannequin and stayed in whatever position you last left it.

Quote:
A few years ago wasn't everyone saying that once you lost it (muscle mass), it was gone?
if you can't grow muscle mass, i'm wasting an awful lot of time at the gym. what i think might also be helping me build muscle is creatine supplement which i use because i do not get a normal supply from eating meat.

Quote:
wobble boards. I'm talking about those small platforms attached to a half-globe shaped pedastal. You stand on the platform and try to keep the edges off the floor as it wobbles. Someone studied these in a nursing home and users had a lower incidence of falling. Seems to sharpen your balance recovery reaction time, build up the core muscles and ankles.
haven't tried or even seen one but from your description it sounds like this would be good for exercising the little stabilizing muscles that standard exercise won't reach well. like using free weights instead of machines. or like doing exercises on an exercise ball. i would think nords' surfboard would act similarly.

ps. i found this forum for bodybuilding info: Muscle Building Forum

pps. and speaking of all that i just found on that forum this:

Quote:
Creatine also "volumizes" the muscles by keeping them hydrated, thus making them less prone to atrophy.
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Old 07-06-2007, 09:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
Muscle mass loss is a big deal cause it leads to falls, among other things. It seems to be related to exercise (resistance) and, in men, to falling testosterone levels.

The good news is that the amount of exercise needed to preserve an adequate amount of muscle is not that great. I don't have the numbers handy, but relatively low resistance training is all you need. Those silly video clips that you see with elderly patients going curls with 3lb weights seem silly at first, but it seems to work. You need a lot less to prevent atrophy than you do to build Schwarzenneger biceps.

Another interesting item: wobble boards. I'm talking about those small platforms attached to a half-globe shaped pedastal. You stand on the platform and try to keep the edges off the floor as it wobbles. Someone studied these in a nursing home and users had a lower incidence of falling. Seems to sharpen your balance recovery reaction time, build up the core muscles and ankles.
When I was in collegiate sports, we used the wobble boards EVERY TIME for rehab on lower leg injuries. We HATED those things, but they worked.

The sports therapy folks had a bunch of them, from a big globe on the bottom to one that had a bottom point almost as small as a marble. The therapy folks told me they used those for the gymnasts to get their balance back..........
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Old 07-06-2007, 09:25 AM   #8
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I go to my local military gym three times a week and do 30 minutes of treadmill or bike and a circuit of nautilus. I only do relatively small weights (70-80#) and a low resistance setting, but it helps immensely. I have a bad back and my body starts telling me whenever I go two weeks without doing the exercises, the pains start up. As long as I do them, I'm OK. One other thing that helps in season is sailing. Sailing is not thought of as a fitness sport, but it really is. The body is constantly adjusting itself as the boat rocks and even though it's not much, doing this 4 or 5 hours at a time is a great workout.

One other thing I note when I go to a military gym, gee they're bringing them in younger and younger every year.
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Old 07-06-2007, 11:02 AM   #9
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You must do more as you get older which is really hard for so many. I find that the more I run and lift the better I feel. The pains that I get in my back and legs and shoulders is just that pain to be expected from the training. Nothing that a blue liquagel advil will fix. Or some good Scotch/Tequila.

When you stop working out when you get older things go bad. You get rusty stiff and soft. Not good. Gonna be running up until the day I die.

I love being able to cruise past 20 and 30 somethings on my 10 mile runs.
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Old 07-07-2007, 01:18 PM   #10
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You must do more as you get older which is really hard for so many. I find that the more I run and lift the better I feel. The pains that I get in my back and legs and shoulders is just that pain to be expected from the training. Nothing that a blue liquagel advil will fix. Or some good Scotch/Tequila.

When you stop working out when you get older things go bad. You get rusty stiff and soft. Not good. Gonna be running up until the day I die.

I love being able to cruise past 20 and 30 somethings on my 10 mile runs.
All very true. As I racked up injuries I had ramped down the exercise to low impact stuff such as walking and swimming. However, 2.5 years ago I signed up at the gymn for the first time ever and started doing weights plus various classes and man what a difference I've seen.

I'm even playing tennis again which I never though I'd do again after it was on a list of "not to do's" after lower back surgery and then 5 or 6 years of tendinitis in the shoulders.

I see lots of seniors in the gymn every time I go and I'm now a "believer" and can't imagine not doing a large variety of exercises to strengthen the muscles around the joints and keep my heart rate and blood pressure in good shape
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Old 07-08-2007, 07:25 AM   #11
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Talked to another older friend about pain and what type of medication he would take. Blue Advils and Makers Mark Bourbon. If that does not work then Morphine.
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