Yes, unfortunately muscle mass will decline with age. Peak muscle fiber size occurs around age 20 for sedentary individuals before beginning to decline. However, physically active adults maintain fiber size until roughly age 60. Research shows the size of Type II fibers (fibers responsible for fast, powerful contractions) decreases with age. This is a primary reason why so many older adults are at risk for sustaining accidental falls. Following systematic and progressive resistance training programs as described by NASM muscle mass decline can be slowed.
Zeba S. Geloo, MD
- internal medicine
Location and Office HoursMedstar Washington Hospital Center
110 Irving St NW
Washington, DC 20010
- Anthem BlueCross BlueShield
- BlueCross BlueShield
- CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
- Coventry Health Care
- First Health
- Great-West Healthcare Cigna
- Kaiser Permanente Health Plans
- United Healthcare
- MedStar Washington Hospital Center
- Potomac Hospital
Will my muscle mass decline with age?
National Academy of Sports Medicine answered
How can I take care of my health as an older adult?
Celeste Robb-Nicholson, Internal Medicine, answeredTo help ensure you're taking the best possible care of your own health as an older adult, perseverance will serve you well, along with these tips:
- Form a partnership. At midlife and beyond, good health is increasingly dependent on good collaborations with your clinicians. Since you are likely to be making more medical visits, find a primary care clinician with whom you feel comfortable. Work with your clinician to devise a schedule for screening tests and clinical exams. If you are prescribed medications, take them as directed; don't stray from the designated dose without talking to your doctor. Find out what you should expect from every new medication and procedure, and let your clinician know what you expect it to accomplish in return.
- Lower your expectations. Few medical treatments, from knee replacements to face lifts, will restore you to your 20-year-old self. Accept a few minor aches and pains as a consequence of overexertion and learn how to adjust your exercise and manage your symptoms with such remedies as rest, ice or heat or nn-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications
- Pay attention to your body. Keep an eye on new spots and bumps, and any changes in your regular patterns, be they in appetite, sleep, energy, bowel habits, or mood. It's easy to write off many changes as consequences of aging when they could signal underlying disease.
How can I help my aging parents lose their things less often?
Shelley Webb, Nursing, answeredFirstly, always have extra car keys, house keys, glasses, batteries, hearing aids (if possible) available and place them in a spot where your aging parent cannot get to them. Limit the number of potential gathering and/or hiding places by keeping some drawers, file cabinets, closets, and rooms locked. In advanced stages of dementia, child proof locks can be used. Valuable items such as jewelry should be locked away. Empty the kitchen trash frequently and remove items to the outside garbage cans. Be sure to check all wastebaskets before emptying them for hidden items and to check all pockets in clothing before laundering them. Also, if your aging parent tends to hoard food, make sure to check under the bed, in drawers, between the mattresses, in closets, etc. so that remnants of foods do not attract critters. Allow an area of your aging parent or loved one's room to be a hoarding spot. Sometimes, doing this makes them feel less likely to want to add to his stash.
See all Aging & Memory Issues questions