Category Archives: muscle building

Women need strength training to ward off aging effects – Study

The more I work on this blog the more I get the idea that whatever the problem exercise is the answer. Eat less; move more; live longer.

Regular physical activity may help older women increase their mobility, but muscle strength and endurance are likely to succumb to the effects of frailty if they haven’t also been doing resistance training.

That is according to the findings of a cross-sectional study led by the University at Buffalo and published in the journal Physical & Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics.

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The study underscores the need for older women to build up muscle strength early in the aging process to help ward off the effects of aging, say the study’s lead authors Machiko Tomita, clinical professor, and Nadine Fisher, clinical associate professor, both in the Department of Rehabilitation Science in UB’s School of Public Health and Health Professions.

“Frailty progresses with aging, but older women who engage in a high level of daily physical activity can reverse certain characteristics related to aging, such as slow walking and decreased function,” says Tomita. Continue reading

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Filed under aging, muscle building, senior women, successful aging, weight training, women's fitness

4 Keys to Strength Building and Muscle Mass

Back in August I wrote Good chance you have sarcopenia, or ‘muscle loss’ and how I realized I was experiencing it. I just ran across this nice write up on Eatright, a website of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics which I thought would interest you.

Muscle is harder to build and maintain as we age. In fact, most of us start losing muscle around age 30, with a 3- to 8-percent reduction in lean muscle mass every decade thereafter.

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This is due to lower testosterone levels in men and lower estrogen levels in women — both hormones that help build muscle — as well as changes in nerve and blood cells and the body not converting amino acids to muscle tissue as efficiently, among other factors. But muscle loss doesn’t have to be inevitable: For adult men and women, regular resistance training exercises are key to building and keeping muscle.

Strength Training and Health
Strength training is an important piece of the fitness equation. Men and women should participate in muscle strengthening activities that work the major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders and arms) at least two times each week. Examples of strength training include lifting weights, using resistance bands and doing push-ups, pull-ups and sit-ups. Even everyday activities such as carrying groceries, playing with your kids and gardening can strengthen muscles. Continue reading

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Crawling has excellent physical benefits

I am now in my seventh year of writing this blog and I pretty much learn something new every day about living a healthy life because I read about the subject constantly. Nonetheless, I was amazed to learn that crawling is a serious form of exercise with excellent benefits to both the body and brain.

I have written repeatedly that walking is the Cinderella of the exercise world in that its physical benefits are almost totally unappreciated. I’m not sure what to call crawling, that’s right, the same thing that babies do before they are able to walk. I was not even aware that crawling was in the exercise world. I was ignorant.

 

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The Health Science Journal says, “Crawling is an important functional milestone as it strengthens the muscles and connective tissues in and around the hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, spine and hips. Furthermore, this weight-bearing quadruped motion also helps to stretch the hand ligaments, facilitating the development of the arches. Crawling also opens up the saddle joint at the base of the thumb – essential for being able to perform fine motor skills like holding cutlery, pens and pencils.

“In adulthood, the increasing prevalence of sedentary lifestyles results in many of the deep stabilizing muscles becoming weak and ineffective at performing their functional role. Muscles and connective tissues weaken, posture changes and instability, dysfunction, tightness and pain usually follow, particularly during physical exertion.

“This is why crawling exercises are as effective in adults as they are in infants and can help restore the optimal musculoskeletal health that has occurred as a result of a sustained period of inactivity.”(my emphasis)

This is from The Breaking Muscle website, “Yes, crawling, a seemingly childish and foolish “exercise,” could be the one thing that improves your health, your strength, your mobility, and your performance in any athletic area. It could even improve your ability to think, focus, and reason.

“Crawling is a developmental movement pattern that ties everything about you together. In developing children, crawling activates and integrates the different parts of the brain. Through crawling, neural connections and pathways are established in the brain that allow the brain to become more efficient at communication between the left and right hemispheres. The better the brain can communicate and process information, the better the body moves.1 Crawling also unites your sensory systems. It integrates your vestibular system (your balance system), your proprioceptive system (your sense of self in space, or your self awareness system), and your visual system (your visual system). It can even improve your hand eye coordination.”

Here is a You Tube video on it:

I don’t know about you, but I am going to start crawling today.

Tony

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Filed under aging, aging brain, balance training, core exercises, crawling, Exercise, exercise benefits, muscle building, muscles

Preserve your muscle mass – Harvard

The saying goes there are two certainties in life: death and taxes. But men should also add loss of muscle mass to the list.

Age-related muscle loss, called sarcopenia, is a natural part of aging. After age 30, you begin to lose as much as 3% to 5% per decade. Most men will lose about 30% of their muscle mass during their lifetimes.

Less muscle means greater weakness and less mobility, both of which may increase your risk of falls and fractures. A 2015 report from the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research found that people with sarcopenia had 2.3 times the risk of having a low-trauma fracture from a fall, such as a broken hip, collarbone, leg, arm, or wrist.

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But just because you lose muscle mass does not mean it is gone forever. “Older men can indeed increase muscle mass lost as a consequence of aging,” says Dr. Thomas W. Storer, director of the exercise physiology and physical function lab at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “It takes work, dedication, and a plan, but it is never too late to rebuild muscle and maintain it.”

The hormone factor

One possible contributor to sarcopenia is the natural decline of testosterone, the hormone that stimulates protein synthesis and muscle growth. Think of testosterone as the fuel for your muscle-building fire. Continue reading

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How Adding Protein Helps in Losing Fat and Gaining Muscle

In the six years of writing this blog, its aim has veered from the narrow weight loss to the much broader healthy living. I think living a long healthy life is a much more valuable goal than just dropping a few pounds. Nonetheless, with more than 60 percent of us overweight and 30 percent outright obese I am aware that most people want to lose weight.

In view of that I thought I would share this recent research from McMaster University on losing fat while gaining muscle.

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Researchers at McMaster University have uncovered significant new evidence in the quest for the elusive goal of gaining muscle and losing fat, an oft-debated problem for those trying to manage their weight, control their calories and balance their protein consumption.

Scientists have found that it is possible to achieve both, and quickly, but it isn’t easy. Continue reading

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Want to Build Muscle? It’s Not What You Eat, But When

Of course, you don’t build muscle just by eating. The anabolic effects of eating protein are doubled if combined with exercise, which is one of the reasons athletes are encouraged to refuel immediately after working out. But if you follow the advice to spread out your protein intake, then you don’t need to worry about the precise timing, according to Paddon-Jones.

Cooking with Kathy Man

Alex Hutchinson wrote in the Globe and Mail ……

Studying the human body isn’t rocket science – in some cases, it’s much harder.

“I tell my grad students that we can put a man on the moon, but we still can’t come to a consensus on how much protein to give him here on earth,” says Dr. Rajavel Elango, a researcher at the University of British Columbia’s School of Population and Public Health.

Elango and his colleagues are using a new measurement technique to rewrite assumptions about how much protein you need at different stages of life. But just getting the right amount isn’t enough: There’s a limit to how much protein your body can use at once, so to maximize muscle-building you need to spread your intake throughout the day – and for most Canadians, that means ramping up the protein content at breakfast and lunch.

Your muscles are…

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