Last year I wrote an article titled: A word you should know: sarcopenia. Here’s that article if you’d like to check it out.
Sarcopenia is the gradual loss of muscle mass with age. This happens to everybody. No 90 year old has the muscle mass of a 20 year old. However, you can do things to reverse sarcopenia. It happens quicker when we’re sedentary for many years, we have a low nutrient-dense diet, and we’re chronically stressed.
Maintaining your muscle mass is one of the most important things you must do to StayAhead of aging. My StayAhead workouts are a great way to do that very thing. Here’s a good one. In this video I explain isometrics, which is an important strength-building technique.
But we’re here today to talk about osteopenia, which is the gradual loss of bone density with age. This happens to everybody. No 90 year old has the bone density of a 20 year old. However, you can do things to reverse osteopenia. Sound familiar? Ya, I just said the same thing about sarcopenia.
In my book The StayAhead Method, I talked about Wolff’s Law, which states that bone stays strong when a load is placed against it. This information is on page 65 of the book if you want to pull your book off the shelf and take a look. Wolff’s Law tells us that muscle and bone work together. When you do resistance training, your muscles load against the bone to move the weight. Studies show that both muscle strength and bone density are improved with resistance training. If you’re into scientific evidence, check out this article. If you don’t have a lot of time, skip down to the conclusion. It’s pretty convincing.
Here’s a link to Wolff’s Law if you’d like to read about it.
I love this article from the Cleveland Clinic, by Nelson Watts, M.D. He states that osteopenia is not a useful diagnostic term. He wants to do away with the word osteopenia because we tend to think about it as a disease. He wants to use the phrase low bone density because it suggests that weak bones is a condition rather than a disease.
I completely agree. I’ve been making the same point for years. If a person doesn’t exercise for forty years and then suddenly realizes they’ve lost muscle mass, tone, and strength, hopefully they wouldn’t assume they have a disease and rush to the doctor for a prescription medication. Instead, they’d get to the gym and start exercising. The same is true with bones. Low bone density isn’t a disease. It’s a condition. Put a consistent load on your bones with resistance training and your bones will get strong again.
Muscle and bone weakness are so tightly woven together that we can combine the words osteopenia and sarcopenia into one word: osteosarcopenia. Reducing the effects of osteosarcopenia is one of the very most important things you can do to StayAhead as you age. Be sure to do your resistance training today!
Women tend not to have as much natural strength as men. Therefore, resistance training is particularly important for you. Read this article.