Our body starts to develop from the moment we are born. However, the body muscles start to weaken from the 30s. so, if you are in your 20s, it is high time you started thinking about how to prevent muscle loss and how to strengthen the muscles.
Fortunately, researchers have found out the most beneficial workout for combating muscle degeneration, as well as arthritis and immobility.
What Does Muscle Atrophy Mean?
Muscle degeneration, or muscle atrophy, is weakening and wasting of muscles and a loss of muscle mass. As we get older, the muscle generation process increases. As time passes, the body cells need more time to regenerate themselves. In addition, mitochondria, a cell part that creates energy in the body, gets numberless and weaker.
When Does Muscle Atrophy happen?
Muscle degeneration usually starts between 30s – 40s. In addition, if you are physically inactive, the loss of muscle mass may occur at the age of 30. However, when you are 70 or 80, you will have a half of your muscle mass. Therefore, it is really important to take up some exercises in order to slow down the aging process.
What Are The Symptoms Of Muscle Atrophy?
You may suffer from muscle degeneration if:
- One of your legs or arms is smaller than the other.
- You have not been physically active for a long period of time.
- You are noticing weakness in the limb.
What Are The Causes Of Muscle Atrophy?
There are numerous causes of muscle degeneration, or atrophy, including:
- Disability: Muscle atrophy leads to limited movements and decreases body function. Moreover, limited movement may make some activities, like climbing stairs or walking, almost impossible.
- Frailty: when the muscles get weak, the body gets frailer. A recent study has shown that people who experienced muscle degeneration were more likely to fall than people who had stronger muscles.
- Arthritis: It has been though that there was a strong link between muscle degeneration and rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, this link was more common in women than in men.
- Mortality: Studies have shown that people who had undergone pancreatic surgery has an increased risk of death in the next 3 years if they suffered from muscle atrophy.
- Lack of physical activity
- Peripheral nerve or spinal cord injury
- Corticosteroid therapy in the long-term
- Injuries, like broken bones or a torn rotator cuff
Diseases that can make movement more difficult or lead to muscle loss, thus causing muscle atrophy, include:
- ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, which affects the nerve cells that control muscle movement.
- Guillain-Barré syndrome, which represents an autoimmune disease that causes nerve inflammation and weakness of muscles.
- Dermatomyositis, which causes skin rash and muscle weakness.
- Multiple sclerosis, which is an autoimmune diseasewhich occurs when the body destroys the protective nerve coverings.
- Muscular dystrophy, which is an inherited disease that lead to muscle weakness.
- Osteoarthritis, which leads to reduced movement in the joints.
- Neuropathy, a nerve damage, resulting in loss of sensation or function
- Polio, a disease that affects muscle tissue, which can also lead to paralysis.
- Rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory disease which affects the joints.
- Polymyositis, which is an inflammatory disease
- Spinal muscular atrophy, a hereditary disease that causes wasting of arms and legs.
5 Ways To Prevent Muscle Degeneration
Here are some tips on how to stay healthy and strong:
Work out on a regular basis
Being physically inactive accelerates muscle mass loss after the age of 30. One of the best ways to prevent muscle degeneration is to do regular exercise.
Maintain a balanced diet
Nutritious meals will help you to retain your muscle mass. Include a lot of vegetables, fruits, and nuts in your diet, as they will provide plenty of carbohydrates, protein, healthy fat and vitamins, which are crucial for muscle retention. In addition, include hemp seeds, almonds, sunflower seeds and walnuts in your diet.
Consume more protein
The intake of protein will provide the amino acids necessary for muscle regeneration and growth, which in turn will prevent muscle degeneration. Except protein-rich foods, such as: yoghurt and tuna, you can also consume animal-based protein powder, plant-based protein sources, as well as soy, spirulina, chlorella powder, pea protein powder, and others.
As we get older, the body loses more water, which retains electrolytes from the muscles. This in turn causes muscle mass loss. To maintain the body cells healthy and strong, you should take the daily recommended dose of water, which is 2.7 l for women and 3.7 l for men.
Get enough sleep
A lack of sleep is the main cause of muscle degeneration. Rest is crucial as well as exercise and adequate nutrition for maintaining muscle growth and health. The proper sleep decreases muscle degeneration rate and increases the protein synthesis. It is recommended that adults should get 8 hours of sleep a night.
A 20-Minute Workout That Helps Combat Muscle Degeneration
The muscle issues may be serious if they are not addressed on time. However, you can improve this condition by doing regular exercises. Numerous studies have shown that there is an exercise that positively affects the body cells.
A 20-minute workout
3 different exercises were given to a few groups of participants. The first group lifted up weights on a regular basis, the second one ride a bike for half an hour and lifted up weights, whereas the third group ride a bike with instructed pedal intensity to 4-minute intervals.
The study has shown that the third group boosted up more endurance, but also the genes of the older and younger participants had different levels of activity. In fact, this exercise affected nearly 400 genes in 65 years old and older participants and 274 genes in 30 years old and younger participants. The other groups noted significantly lower numbers.
In addition, the findings of the study have shown that the intense workout enhances healthier and stronger mitochondria, which boosted up more energy in the body. Interestingly, this workout had more beneficial effects on the older participants.
Interval training workout
This workout includes 10 exercises, which are repeated three times for 20 seconds. After doing each exercise, take a break of 10 seconds.
- X burpees
- 4 high knees and 2 jump jacks
- Evan burpees
- Flutter kick squats
- Split jumps
- Butt kickers
- Up and out jacks
- Curtsy jump lunge
- Static squat
- 3, 2, 1 lunge
How To Include Interval Training Workout In your Daily Routine
If you are having a daily routine, it would be really easy to include interval training workout into it. Here is some advice on how to do it easily:
- Warm up: Make sure you warm up first. Also, you should warm up the legs, ankles, hips, wrists, shoulders, and neck.
- Start slowly: At the beginning, do exercises for 20 seconds and then rest for 40 – 60 seconds. You should start slowly in order to avoid being injured.
- Set up a timer: As timing is very essential, you can set up a timer, so that you can be concentrated on the exercises rather than on counting.
- Perform workout 3 – 4 times a week: If you do interval training workout, you should give time to your body to calm down. If you prefer doing exercise on a regular basis, you can do cardio exercises instead.
Follow these tips while doing your regular workout. Physical activity is crucial for proper functioning of the body as well as for the overall health. So, take up some exercise, it is never late to start workout. The age-related muscle degeneration can be slow down by combing a balanced diet, regular exercise and getting proper sleep.