This monitoring allows personalised strategies to be developed that integrate nutritional advice, the possible use of food supplements and targeted physical exercise, which enable the elderly to maintain their lifestyle and their interests over time.
From the age of 40, physical performance tends to decline, while the advantages linked to experience increase; this becomes increasingly more evident as one grows older.
In "successful aging" the decline in physical performance is well balanced by the improvement in experience and the wealth of relationships that has developed over time, which may allow the subject to be successful in his/her personal and professional life even at a fairly advanced age. On the other hand, a very marked decline in physical performance can lead to unfavourable conditions such as depression, an increase in weight and the worsening of the functional limitations induced by arthrosis, which in the long term can contribute to reducing autonomy and self-sufficiency.
In particular, as one becomes older, muscle mass is gradually lost. This generally becomes evident after the age of 50. If this loss is too rapid, there is an excessive loss of muscle tissue in relation to age. This is referred to as sarcopenia.
Sarcopenia is insidious, people affected are unaware of it in the early stages and it only becomes noticeable when they have difficulty performing common tasks of daily life.
If sarcopenia is diagnosed in time, it can be treated in the initial stage, which can limit and delay its negative effects. If untreated, as sarcopenia progresses, it may not only reduce one's autonomy but can also lead to a worsening of other diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, in which physical activity and the fight against a sedentary lifestyle is an essential part of the treatment.
Sarcopenia should not be underestimated in obese people. In these cases, the increase in body weight associated with the decrease in muscle mass can lead to an even more rapid loss of mobility. This creates a dangerous vicious circle in which the loss of mobility leads to a lower expenditure of energy, weight gain and a further loss of mobility.