Muscle Power

8 steaks! That's 1 1/2 kilos of beef. The weight of muscle mass healthy people loose when they have one week of bedrest.  Studies by physiologists at Maastricht university show that this is the pure effect of not moving.  Anyone working at this dutch research department doesn't get to sit down much. Around the meeting table, which is at chest hight, there are 8 cycling stools and meeting are held whilst cycling. Moving is the best way to stay healthy. This counts for the young and the old.                                                                           Every day 1-2% of all muscle mass is broken down and rebuilt by our body. This means that one arm will be completely renewed within 2-3 months. This happens to 16 year olds as well as 86 year olds. Normaly you don't notice this renewal. But when things go wrong you certainly do. Think about a leg in plaster. At first the plaster feels rather tight and it itches, but you cannot reach the itch. 3 days later the plaster seems to have streched, except that plaster does not strech. It is simply loss of muscle bulk which reduces the leg thickness. This means that after an injury you need to exercise. And not just after a leg in plaster but also after less usage of a limb following for example a fairly straight forward ligament injury.  It takes on average 6 weeks of exercise to rebuild lost muscle mass. Studies show that even at an older age muscle can be fully trained. The trouble often is that the elderly tend to become more imobile following an injury or illness. Their families all gather round to help them, to serve their dinners in bed or in their chairs in the sitting room.Let them walk to the table even if it takes a lot of effort, or to the kitchen if they fancy a cup of tea. Encourage some exercise! It may seem mean but in the long run you are doing the best thing.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           next time: the effect of nutrition on muscle building



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