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Muscle weakness and abdominal fat affect the physical performance of the elderly, says research |  Sao Carlos and Araraguara

Muscle weakness and abdominal fat affect the physical performance of the elderly, says research | Sao Carlos and Araraguara

A study by the Federal University of Sao Carlos (UFSCar) pointed to a relationship Functional decline in the elderly between muscle weakness and abdominal fatWhen a person loses the ability to perform simple actions such as moving around or holding objects.

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The study, conducted by Roberta de Oliveira Maximo, a graduate student in physiotherapy, was monitored using a database from the University College of London in the United Kingdom. 3,800 English seniors for 8 years.

During this time, the elderly repeated three experiments: sitting and getting up from a chair, standing still in different positions and walking 2.4 meters. These actions, when modified or done with difficulty Indicators of functional decline.

“Physical inactivity is the first indicator of impaired function in the elderly and is considered a pre-clinical transition stage for disability, i.e. appearing before difficulties in daily activities such as transportation, shopping, housekeeping. Clothes., Preparing food, bathing, dressing, going to the bathroom and eating.” Said Diego da Silva Alexandre, a professor of gerontology who oversaw the project.

Men suffer the most

Circumference above 102 cm in men associated with muscle weakness indicates decreased function.

In the surveyed population, the greatest physical disability was found in a group of older men with a combination of abdominal obesity and muscle weakness.

This is because older men and women lose muscle strength and tend to accumulate belly fat. Very serious among men.

“Fat in the stomach produces inflammatory cytokines that cause muscle wasting,” Roberta explained.

Strength tests can help diagnose the risk of dysfunction in the elderly – Photo: Reproduction / EPTV

Roberta insists that it should be evaluated by combining two factors. This is because the study found that obesity or loss of strength was not associated with worsening physical performance in the elderly over time.

According to the researcher, men and women over the age of 40 should pay attention to these factors, when the body begins to accumulate fat differently, with a greater accumulation in the abdomen.

Physical exercises strengthen muscles and prevent functional decline in the elderly. – Photo: Reproduction / TV TEM

Early detection of these difficulties allows risk factors to be modified, along with weight loss mechanisms such as a balanced diet and aerobic activity, in addition to strength exercises for muscle strengthening.

“Older people should increase their intake of protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, eggs, milk, cheese and grains such as soy and beans. These foods, which are associated with physical exercise, can help improve muscle strength,” the doctor explained. Marcelo Valente is an expert in geriatrics.

In cases where functional decline has begun, it may be necessary to associate specific physical therapy with weight loss and muscle strengthening.