Reference: 2022-12-16; https://mbp-japan.com/jijico/articles/32304/
Modified and translated by CFJA
Is 62 years old the time when you begin to feel your body begin to decline?
In 2020, the average life expectancy for Canadians is 80.4 years for men and 84.1 years for women. Life expectancy in Canada continues to increase each year. The age of 100 years of life may not be far off. However, when people reach their 50s, which is the midpoint of their life expectancy, the amount of growth hormone secreted, which is believed to be involved in muscle damage repair, fat burning, and other aspects of things in order to stay young, declines considerably. Although outward appearance does not change that much, subjective symptoms of aging gradually increase.
Surveys on aging have been conducted in various places, and there are numerous subjective symptoms in each generation.
- In the 30s: Fatigue is harder to get rid of.
- In the 40s: Gray hair is becoming more noticeable.
- In the 50s: Difficulty seeing small objects.
- In the 60s: Increased forgetfulness.
The most common symptom among patients in the 70’s is a sense of muscle weakness. Among the patients who come to our clinic, we often hear the phrase, “I have lost a lot of muscle strength after I turned 70 years old”. Decreased muscle strength leads to a narrower range of motion. When does muscle strength begin to decline? The age of 60 is considered to be a milestone in the aging process. Although physical strength will start to decline after turning 60, people are still busy working and do not realize that their bodies are changing. It is not until after the age of 62 that one can actually tend to feel the decline in one’s body. At age 62 and above, some people find it difficult to maintain muscle strength even when exercising. 62 is considered the turning point when people feel they need to confront the decline in their physical strength.
The nine years between the ages of 61 and 70 are an important time. It is important to exercise to prevent physical decline How to compensate for muscle weakness is key!
The 60s is a time when you still feel very active. Although people don’t feel their bodies deteriorate as much, many of them turn to exercise as they think about health in the future. . It seems that at age 61 people actually begin to feel their physical strength decline as they notice muscle weakness. Men typically have more muscle mass than women and. Since the rate of decline is greater in men than in women, it seems that men feel the decline more sensitively than women.
Where does the body lose muscle mass?
- Lower limbs: decline begins in all ages after the 20s
- Upper limbs: Decrease begins slowly in the 40s and becomes more pronounced in the 70s.
- Body trunk: A gradual increase until the 50s. A more pronounced decrease is seen in the 60s.
- Whole body: Gradual increase until the 40s, followed by a remarkable decrease in the 50s.
(日老医誌, Nichirou Ishi, which is a magazine publishing about aging in Japan, “Characteristics of Japanese Muscle Mass with Aging,” 2010).
It is seen that whole-body muscle mass does not decrease significantly until the age of 50. When it does decrease it does. So, muscles in the following order: lower limbs, whole body, upper limbs, and trunk. Muscle mass decreases with age because muscle fibers are reduced and muscle atrophy occurs. In particular, fast-twitch muscle fibers, which are involved in fast movements, atrophy remarkably, resulting in slower movement with age. Slow muscle fibers, which are associated with relatively slower movements, do not atrophy as much, so there is no problem with continuous slow movement. Running is popular because the lower limbs begin to deteriorate at a young age, and after the age of 60, running gradually becomes less and less possible. Therefore, when we ask the 60s people what they do for exercise, most of them say they are more comfortable doing walking exercise as the physical decline in their lower limbs is more noticeable.
Our height tends to shrink from the age of 60 because the intervertebral discs between the spine become thinner. There are no blood vessels in the intervertebral discs. Nutrients for the intervertebral discs are supplied by blood vessels in the periosteum that covers the vertebrae. In order to efficiently supply the disc with nutrients, the spine must have enough movements back and forth, side to side, and the pressure on the periosteum against the blood vessels must be regularly increased. In other words, to keep the height and maintain flexibility of the joints of the spine, exercise is necessary to move the spine to various angles. The same is true for other joints in terms of maintaining normal joint motion. All joints need to be moved to various angles. From a different perspective, walking alone is not enough to improve the flexibility of the approximately 260 joints and more than 600 muscles.
Compared to non-exercisers, regular walking helps lower limb weakness, but it is unlikely to significantly help total body weakness. Movement of various angles is needed, especially for upper limbs and trunk. During the nine years between the ages of 61 and 70, muscle strength throughout the body decreases considerably. As muscle weakness progresses, entering one’s late 70s, it becomes difficult to move around freely much more than before. To avoid a life requiring nursing care, regular multi-body joint exercises and muscle training should be implemented.