Many older adults, often because of their sedentary lifestyles, are functioning
dangerously close to their maximum ability during normal activities of daily living.
Climbing stairs or getting out of a chair, for example, often requires near-maximal
efforts for people who are not very physically active. Any further decline or small
physical setback could easily cause them to move from independent to disabled
status in which assistance is needed for daily activities.
The good news, though, is that much of the usual age-related decline in physical
fitness is preventable and even reversible through proper attention to our physical
activity and exercise levels. Especially important is the early detection of physical
weaknesses and appropriate changes in physical activity habits. Our functional aging
screening test and follow-on programme was developed specifically to evaluate and
monitor the physical status of adults over 35 so that evolving weaknesses can be
identified and addressed before resulting in overt functional limitations.
“Sarcopenia” is the name for age-related loss of muscle mass and strength. It’s a
consequence of aging, but a systematic program of physical activity can lessen the
effects of sarcopenia. Now, there is compelling evidence that specific dietary
measures, in addition to resistance exercises, can mitigate or inhibit loss of muscle
mass. More on that in a minute; first, let’s consider exercise.