The loss of muscle mass and strength is a phenomenon which commonly occurs with advancing age, but can also occur in an excessively sedentary life, forced immobility situations — for example due to the plaster or as a result of a ‘ surgical operation — and in relation to disabling pathologies. In the clinical context, this pathology is called sarcopenia — from the Greek «sarx» meat and «penia» loss — and is linked, in addition to the detriment of the muscles, also to a decrease in vitality, loss of balance and greater ease of fall and of possible consequent fractures.
The muscle mass grows and develops from childhood throughout adolescence even up to 30 years. After that, the content and cellular function of the muscles begins to decrease, first slowly and, with advancing age, more and more rapidly now.
According to the main sector studies, sarcopenia begins to appear around the fourth decade of life, leading to a loss of muscle mass of 3-5% by the age of 50 and subsequently of 1-2% every year, thus halving the muscle mass within the age of 75 in about 40% of subjects and mainly, albeit very lightly, in male rather than female.
Although it is an inevitable process, especially with the onset of old age, there are various measures that help counteract and prevent loss of muscle mass. In particular, to maintain healthy muscles it is essential to adopt a balanced lifestyle, which includes constant physical activity and proper nutrition, that is, with the right intake of proteins and nutrients.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IS THE NUMBER ONE FACTOR TO KEEP MUSCLES IN HEALTH
Loss of muscle mass can be accelerated by the lack of movement and, above all, by the absence of force loads on the muscle. Training strength not only increases and maintains muscle mass, but also the mineral density of bones, which is therefore useful for counteracting osteoporosis. Therefore, to slow down both the onset and the evolution of muscle depletion, it is recommended to carry out constant physical activity.