Do you ever feel weaker than you would like? or have less energy to do the activities you want?
Feeling strong is a positive mental attitude backed up by your muscle health.
Its now more evident than ever, that whatever your age you can gain muscle! Why is this important?
Let’s begin by discussing what happens when we lose muscle over time. This is termed either primary or secondary sarcopenia.
- Typically, the human body will start to decrease its muscle density (and fast twitch fibres) as we age “naturally” after 30years of age at a rate of 3-8%per decade. This has noticeable effects on your overall strength, energy, ability to hold posture, balance, reflex’s, speed and flexibility. (English & Paddon-Jones, 2012)
- Immune system is compromised. Muscles vastly assist in decreasing inflammation caused by various foods, illnesses and stress. In metabolic syndrome and associated Type 2 diabetes which is inflammatory muscle loss increases risk.
- Mental capacity decreases. This is a general statement and difficult to define, but we now know that muscles secrete special signaling molecules called Myokines that travel to other organs including the brain and assist with their function, modifying their activity and responses.
Also, what happens when we are ill or incapacitated for a time and body weight rapidly? In some cases, its termed cachexia.
- Rapid weight loss due to an illness or major incapacitation causes more muscle loss than gradual weight loss due to normal aging or weight reduction efforts. (Asahtary-Larky, Bagheri Cambridge U 2020)
- With rapid muscle loss, we see increased immune susceptibility, changes in balance and reaction time ability, posture changes, digestive health effects, mental health and strength.
- A person is more susceptible to osteoporosis with maintained muscle loss. (Sinaki, NIH)
We all have the same number of muscles, and therefore the same structure to build on...
What’s the difference?
Well to “regain” lost muscle its actually fairly easy. Here are three basic RULES:
- Drink water in a regular pattern, sufficiently throughout the day.
- Do some strength exercises, to moderate (not minimal) limits, everyday for different body parts.
- Eat sufficiently for your size and activity level.
What are the challenges to the above?:
- We may not know what state our body is currently in. ie posture, joint health, heart, organs.
- We do not know how to strength train, and what are the correct movements for me specifically.
- We do not feel like, and/or struggle with the efforts to be consistent
- We do not know how much effort it will take, and for how long.
Sometimes the road to being strong and feeling strong seems very long. It can actually happen relatively quickly, even though the amount of muscle loss over time is proportional to the gain time, you will notice a big difference within a few months of fully applying the above 3 rules. Please do not hesitate to get help from a professional where any of the challenges listed above apply to you!
You can vastly accelerate results with some professional assistance.