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Weak Things Break!

Education | | Dr. Dann

Did you know that we lose muscle mass as we age? This happens even if we are actively working out. After the age of 30 you begin to lose as much as 3%-5% per decade. That % increases as we age. People can lose up to 30% of their muscle mass during their lifetime according to most studies.

Loss of muscle mass can lead to increased lack of coordination and weakness.

Maintaining muscle and staying active is crucial to stay Functionally Independent as we age. Muscle strength and mass are directly correlated with functional abilities such as mobility, balance, and the ability to perform activities of daily living independently.

Retaining muscle mass allows older adults to maintain their independence and quality of life as they age, reducing the risk of falls and injuries. As we age these small changes can compile and pretty soon it becomes difficult to do normal everyday tasks. Things like standing from a chair, opening a peanut butter jar lid, and carrying in groceries all become exceedingly more difficult, and nearly impossible.

A decrease in muscle and lack of coordination can also lead to a loss of functional control of our bodies. We can’t stop ourselves or catch ourselves as quickly as we once could if we trip on a curb or over a toy on the floor. This weakness can lead to an increase in falls and subsequent injury!

Here are 5 ways to prioritize our strength and coordination.

  1. Regular Exercise Routine
    Engage in balanced exercise routines that include cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and flexibility and balance.

  2. Healthy Diet
    Eat a well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Ensure you are getting enough protein to support muscle retention. Retaining our muscle as we age is essential to sustained coordination.

  3. Adequate Rest and Recovery
    Prioritize quality sleep, aiming for 7-9 hours per night. Quality sleep promotes muscle recovery, cognitive function, and overall well-being.

  4. Maintain Social connections and Mental well-being
    Stay socially engaged by participating in activities, clubs, or volunteering opportunities that interest you.

  5. Regular Body Maintenance
    A rehab specialist can design and implement personalized exercise programs tailored to the individual's needs, goals, and medical history. These programs often include a combination of strength training, flexibility exercises, balance training, and cardiovascular activities to optimize muscle retention and functional capacity. Based on these assessments, targeted interventions can be implemented to improve functional mobility and reduce the risk of falls and injuries. Rehab specialists provide education and coaching on proper exercise techniques, body mechanics, and strategies for injury prevention.

Questions on injury prevention or rehabilitation? We would love to help.

Dr. Dann is a chiropractor serving Milwaukie, Happy Valley, Clackamas, and Oregon City.
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