Normally, we associate skeletal muscle with only movement yet it’s contribution to our physiological system is much more. Muscles are not only involved in motion, posture and breathing, but are also secretory organs. Myokines are proteins released during muscular contractions and mediate cross-talk with adipose tissue, the liver, pancreas, bones and the brain, as well as part of our immune system and metabolism.
The loss of muscle and decline in strength throughout our lives takes a high personal toll. Frailty is associated with falls, fractures, impaired daily living, loss of independence, invoking the inflammatory process and an increased risk of disease, organ failure and even death.
In 1989 the word sarcopenia was introduced. Sarcopenia (from the Greek word sarx meaning ‘flesh’ and penia ‘lack’) was used to describe a loss of muscle mass and a decline in muscle strength and performance as one ages.
Sarcopenia has long been aligned with aging and older people, but currently there is a focus on peak muscle mass and strength attained in early adulthood. Researchers have determined that this syndrome starts earlier than initially postulated. Maximizing mass and strength and maintaining its peak as one becomes older helps ensure quality of life. Getting Strong and staying strong is critical. Weight training is something all should engage in regularly.