How to Protect Against Age-Related Muscle Loss
Better Nutrition|March 2021
Here’s what you can do to prevent age-related muscle loss, a shockingly common issue linked to low energy, higher fall risk, and more.
By Joseph Maroon, MD, FACC

Many people fear losing their cognitive ability as they age. Others focus on preserving bone and joint health. They’ll take steps to support their brain, bones, and joints, even though only a small percentage of people will ever experience problems in those areas. But most people ignore a looming issue that’s as serious, or more serious, and that affects everyone over age 50: age-related muscle loss. Alarmingly, if you don’t do something about losing muscle mass, it could ultimately lead to losing your physical independence and quality of life.

Age-related Muscle Loss and Quality of Life

Muscle loss is a part of the aging process that many doctors don’t discuss during your annual physical. Everyone’s body gradually becomes less efficient at replenishing muscle tissue. If you’re weakened by diminished muscle mass, you may find it harder to get out of a chair, walk the dog, or carry in groceries. You may feel more fatigued. Muscle loss also increases your risk of falls and fractures. I’m in the fourth quarter of life myself and working diligently to maintain my own muscle mass—and I’m a veteran of 72 triathlons and eight Ironman triathlons. Thankfully, muscle mass is super easy to measure, so you can forecast where you’re headed.

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