Sarcopenia and physical activity

...a meta-analysis investigating the protective ability of physical activity against sarcopenia

Although diseases related to the aging process are problematic themselves, they rarely occur in isolation and the effects of one may spark the onset of another.

As such ailments progress, the importance of physical activity (PA) remains high, with previous research confirming that regular PA is essential for healthy aging. Specifically, PA plays a substantial role in lowering the risk of cardiac and vascular diseases, obesity, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, and COPD. 

Although PA may have an indirect impact on some health aspects, it has a direct impact on muscle quality and quantity. Sarcopenia is the progressive decrease in muscle mass and strength during aging, assessed by bio-impedance, CT/MRI, DXA scan, and clinically by gait speed, grip strength and mid-upper arm muscle circumference.

Physical inactivity induces sarcopenia, and physical training has been shown to increase muscle mass and -strength even in old age. Resistance training is generally considered to be the best countermeasure for preventing sarcopenia.

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