Article – Sarco What?
One of the greatest tragedies I see amongst our aging population is an acceptance that they can’t do something because of their age. Let’s get something understood right away. Age does not by itself limit our abilities to do whatever we want. How we age does. Now repeat that again and think on it for a minute. Everyone is going to age. It is built into our genetic structure to gradually decline. However science literature abounds to rebuke any one of you who think that your biological age alone limits you. Instead, recognize that your body and how it ages is simply a product of how you have taken care of it along the way. If you decided that for some reason you did not have to exercise until later in life, good for you. At least you started! However, you will most likely have the experience of less mobility due to sitting more than standing and moving; less lung capacity due to missing out on building it up when you were younger, and finally, you will have less muscle mass. This last one is what I’m going to speak towards primarily in this article because I staunchly believe that sarcopenia, or muscle loss, is a key contributor to aging rapidly and without hope for the enjoyment of our later years that we may envision. I am going to share with you why. Fortunately, there is a very simple and proven solution to minimize muscle wasting away any more and getting on to living a wonderful life until your last days. I’m going to also share that with you.
First, what is sarcopenia and why should you care? Well, as I mentioned above the term sarcopenia comes from the Greek words, sarx or “flesh” and penia or “poverty”. Its English definition is the degenerative loss of skeletal muscle mass (.5 to 1% per year after the age of 50), quality and strength associated with aging1. Key in on associated. You see, for a while it was just assumed that with age we lose muscle. However that’s not entirely true. The truth is that with age and negligence on our part to appropriately stress our skeletal muscle as well as adequate dietary intake of protein we lose it. Remember those points because we will get back to them momentarily. Sarcopenia is most prevalent in older adults who are not active and it increases one’s risk for falling and a loss of independence as activities of daily living become increasing difficult to do.
Let’s get back to the part about negligence and losing muscle I just spoke about earlier. First, what is considered negligent? To put it simply, if your workouts or daily activities aren’t routinely causing your muscles to feel challenged and fatigued, you are neglecting them. And, if you continue in this manner you will be a prime candidate for sarcopenia in your later years. Secondly, if your protein intake is chronically lower than the RDA’s minimum recommendation of .83 grams per kilogram of bodyweight (bodyweight/2.2 = kilograms x .83 grams = minimum protein intake)2 you are again increasing your risk of sarcopenia in your later years.
So how about some specifics for you to bear in mind when it comes to avoiding sarcopenia. First and foremost, exercise with resistance! If you aren’t exercising its most unlikely that you are stressing your muscles significantly enough and regularly enough in your day to day activities to realize the amount of effort they need to stay strong. So, the general recommendation is to perform a minimum of two total body sessions per week up to a maximum of four sessions per week. In these sessions you want to exercise all of your large muscle groups (the ones you can see is the easiest way to think about it) with a level of resistance that you can do for somewhere between 10 – 15 reps. As you gain a better understanding of how to do exercises properly and also how to evaluate your intensity of effort, you will be able to train safely with even greater loads. But 10 – 15 reps or approximately 65 – 75% of your maximal effort is appropriate for most.
You also want to remember the importance of meeting, at the least, the minimum RDA for your dietary protein intake. If you’re not one for formulas, a well-established rule of thumb for maximizing your body’s absorption of protein is 25 – 30 grams of it at every meal.4 So if you eat three times a day that would be 75 – 90 grams of protein per day. The importance of meeting this minimum recommendation is significant because in order for our bodies to sustain muscle mass we must consume about 20 grams of essential amino acids per day. There are approximately 6 grams of essential amino acids for every 20 grams of quality protein we consume each day. Additionally, if we are increasing demand on our bodies through exercise we are also increasing our total energy need and thus our total protein need as well.
So, I hope that I have been able to provide you with some solid strategies for avoiding the dreaded “s” word. Don’t feel that you have to just stand, or sit for that matter, and experience decline with age. Research shows clearly that with the right dosing of resistance exercise and protein intake you can not only hold onto your muscle but you can also continue to get stronger well into your later years. The only limits in fact are the ones you self impose. So go find some weights and start lifting!
1-“Sarcopenia.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 24 Feb. 2015. Web. 05 Apr. 2015. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarcopenia>.
2-Pedersen, Agnes, & Tommy Cederholm. “Health effects of protein intake in healthy elderly populations: a systematic literature review.” Food & Nutrition Research[Online], 58 (2014): n. pag. Web. 5 Apr. 2015
3- Willoughby, Darryn S., Ph.D., CSCS, FACSM. “Resistance Training and the Older Adult.” (n.d.): n. pag. American College of Sports Medicine. Web. 5 Apr. 2015. <https://www.acsm.org/docs/current-comments/resistancetrainingandtheoa.pdf>.
4-Paddon-Jones, Douglas, and Blake B. Rasmussen. “Dietary Protein Recommendations and the Prevention of Sarcopenia: Protein, Amino Acid Metabolism and Therapy.” Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care 12.1 (2009): 86–90. PMC. Web. 6 Apr. 2015.
Sherry, a competitive masters runner, started coming to BodyBasics in 2012 after receiving a lottery place for the New York City Marathon for later that year. Running she had down but over the years nagging injuries had really started putting a damper on her ability to remain consistent with her run training. So, after trying other treatments from physical therapists, chiropractors, and acupuncturists to name a few, she decided to give personal training a go. She really wanted to be able to run in the New York City Marathon without pain!
Sherry’s first choice was actually a trainer at the YMCA but after the trainer was unable to demonstrate a satisfactory ability to tailor her workout to her needs, which were core stability and to strengthen as well as balance muscles she was using as a runner, she looked elsewhere. After hearing about BodyBasics separately from two different friends who were already pleased as punch clients there, she decided she would follow their lead and give BodyBasics a shot.
Fast forward several months and Sherry was out of pain and well on her way to running in the NYC Marathon. Unfortunately Hurricane Sandy had other plans in 2012 and despite being in race ready form flying out to compete, the race was cancelled. BUT, Sherry was still able to achieve her marathon goal a few month’s later when she ran the St. George Marathon. Now here’s the best part though. Since that marathon, Sherry has been able to run 6 half-marathons and 1 additional marathon, all pain free! Currently she is still training regularly once a week with either Mike or Chris at BodyBasics and supplementing that workout with another of her own at home plus her running program. She will be competing in the Huff to Bluff Marathon in Utah coming up this May.
In Her Words
Ultimately, why did you choose BodyBasics over other options?
“I like the personalized workout program, the exercises and the attention. Chris and Mike really listen to my goals and concerns, and they adjust the program regularly to help meet my needs. They also educate me about the “why” behind the plan so that I’m able to understand the purpose behind each exercise. Plus, all the trainers are friendly, fun and inspiring!”
Welcome New and Returning Clients
Jennifer Anderson referred by Barbara Grandstaff, NMT
Dru Hansen referred by Marny Wellman
Mary Holloway referred by Dee Fletcher
Sabrina Karaway referred by Patty Trout and Linda Goodwillie
Nathan Miller referred by Pat Thompson
Helen Siglin referred by Edrice Ivory
Carol Summer referred by Lee Kane
Paul Turner referred by Gloria Goldman
Shout outs are about us voicing victories we witness you all having at BodyBasics. What you don’t know is that we start every Wednesday staff meeting with our shout outs. After doing this for several months and realizing how many incredible experiences are being shared, We thought it would be excellent to position a place within our newsletter to share also with all of you. We’ll keep it to our top 5 each month.
Barbara Moore: for achieving nearly 80% of her 6 week goal and improving her heart health measurably!
Abbie Burton: for addressing her fear of falling and not being able to get up on her own directly and with tenacity!
Carl Brown: for achieving his fastest ¼ mile time ever!
Rick Steele: for much improved body awareness and connecting with the value of “this mobility who ha stuff”!
Jim Mostyn: for standing independently for an all-time high without his cane!
Got Obstacles? Out Train Them! Special Group Training Class
Do you want to do the Color Obstacle Run or another mud run/obstacle run but not sure how to prepare for it? We’ve got you covered!
BodyBasics is offering a small group class running from April 4 – May 14th that will be designed to prepare you for conquering any obstacle. In this high energy class each set and every rep will have you pushing to get better than you were yesterday. Our trainers will help you find your potential as they not only guide you through the workout program but also help motivate and encourage you towards your goals. Ensuring that with the right mindset, motivation, and support from friends you can jump or climb or pull or push yourself through any obstacle in the future.
Classes started on Saturday the 4th of April and will continue now on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30 as well as Saturdays at 8:00 a.m. until May 14th. So if you are looking for a class that is another notch up in intensity from our 4EverFit classes (previously called Fitness Fusion) come and give this one a go. Sign ups have ended but you can still pop in with at least a day ahead for notice at a “pop in” rate of $25 per class. And, if you want to join us the event we are training with in mind is Tucson Color Obstacle Course May 16. Please register by clicking here and if you’d like join team BodyBasics! All you need to do is register and include BodyBasics in the box under “Team Name”.
Color Obstacle Rush 5K, May 16th
The Color Obstacle Rush is a unique event combining the fun of color powdered runs and the thrill and excitement of an obstacle course. After a fun pre-run workout to make sure everyone is warmed up, you will start the Rush by pushing through foam and getting doused with color powder while climbing up and down nets, making your way down giant slides, leaping through bouncy castles, crawling under inflatable beams, digging through a giant ball pit, and of course, the huge party at the finish line as your reward for completing the Rush!
There are 10 obstacles in total along with 9 coloring stations throughout the 5k course…. unmatched by any other fun run!
Click here to register. On the registration page there will be a spot to enter your team name. This is where you will put “BodyBasics”.
Recipe – Spicy Fiesta Egg Scramble
What you eat in the morning sets the tone for the rest of your day. A healthy breakfast refuels your body and jump-starts your day. Try this to get your day started in the right direction.
Fat free non-stick spray
1/2 cup chopped bell peppers (red, orange, green, yellow)
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/2 small Jalepeno pepper finely chopped (add more for a stronger kick)
1/2 cup grape tomatoes cut in half
4 Egg whites
1 1/2 ounces avocado chopped
Fresh cilantro chopped for garnish
1/2 orange for garnish
1. Heat on non-stick pan over medium high heat and coat with cooking spray.
2. Saute bell peppers, Jalepeno, onion and half tomatoes for three minutes. Season with desired amount of spices.
3. Push vegies to side of pan and add egg whites, cook until scrambled.
4. Top eggs and vegies with remaining tomatoes, avocado and plenty of cilantro. Add a squeeze of orange over the top.
Makes one serving.
Protein: 16 grams
Carbs; 18.5 grams
Fat: 8 grams
Video – Single Leg Slide
Myrya, Chris, Amber, Maureen, Mike, Jamie and Mary