The benefits of physical activity are many, but what is the right exercise to slow the loss of muscle mass due to the sedentary and inexorable passage of the years?
Aging leads to progressive muscular atrophy which involves both a decay of strength and metabolic and aesthetic changes. This process, called sarcopenia, is progressive, has multifunctional causes and increases in the absence of physical activity.
Sarcopenia contributes to lowering energy expenditure at rest (basal metabolism), facilitating fat accumulation. The phenomenon is further aggravated when the food regime is deficient from the point of view of protein input.
Physical activity is essential to minimize lean mass loss. In fact, muscle mass can be maintained or even increased after 40 years, as some studies show, thanks to a specific workout. The work program to be proposed, with scientifically proven benefits, is strength training, unique in combating lean mass loss, capable of producing anabolic (muscle growth) responses that can not be obtained with aerobic workouts.
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The weight training is the most effective means to increase muscle mass. In addition, since muscle is the organ that consumes more calories, more muscle we have it is easier to maintain proper body weight and reduce the presence of fat. The recommended work must, in addition to adapting to the individual needs of the subject, be sufficiently intense.
Movements are proposed with the use of free weights, isotonic machines or free body against gravity (calistinenic gymnastics).
The intensity of the exercise is measured as a percentage of the maximum load that allows for a single repetition (1 RM). Intensity of 70-90% of the RM is typically used in strength development and muscle hypertrophy. Usually, one to two exercises per muscle group (chest, shoulders, arms, back, abdomen, lower limbs); Two or three series of 8-12 repetitions for each exercise. Each series is followed by a pause of about 1-2 minutes.
The gesture must be slow and controlled and the breathing must be coordinated : it exits during the exercise and always keeps the breath away. Generally, there are two to three weekly training sessions of about 40-60 minutes.
Losing muscles means not only having a less tonic body but above all losing autonomy and quality of life and having a greater risk of developing major pathologies.